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More than 20 years after it first appeared in a Moline Masterplan document – and three years since work began on making it reality – the Floreciente Streetscape Project is nearing the finish line.
This week, a beautiful green, yellow and red painted flower – in the shape of a cursive “F” for Floreciente – was completed in the middle of the intersection of 4th Avenue and 7th Street. The flower joins painted pots, decorative street lamps, fancy pavers and colorful murals in the heart of Moline’s historic Latino neighborhood.
K.J. Whitley, Moline’s Community Development Manager who has been working on the project since its inception, said it’s rewarding to see it taking physical shape. Too often, she said, plans are put to paper and don’t achieve reality. The streetscape project, however, has survived multiple Moline administrations, staff turnover and a global health pandemic.
“It’s about neighborhood beautification and identification,” Whitley said. “It gives a sense of place and heritage. It’s taken a lot of cooperation between the community, city and others to bring it to fruition.”
The project was first identified as needed in the 2001 Moline Master Plan. It received Community Development Block Grant Funding in 2019, leading to designs being drawn up. Work to bring the elements together has occurred since – although there was a lull during the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
The $700,000 project includes planters, lighting, benches and other street improvements. The new pavers and street art completed Phase 3, with only one phase remaining, Whitley said. The final phase will be a large place-making arch with the name Floreciente on it.
It is hoped the sign can be acquired and installed in 2024.
Susana Aguilar is co-chair of the Floreciente Neighborhood Committee and has been advocating for the streetscape project since 2017. She said it brings a sense of pride to what is one of Moline’s oldest and most active neighborhood groups.
“There’s a lot of people pulling for us,” she said, noting that community collaboration has been key to the project’s success. “Our neighborhood has really come together on this. There is definitely a sense of pride in Floreciente.”