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Douglas Park

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  1. Exterior seating
  2. Lighted ball diamonds
  3. Lighted community playground

About the Park

The park is available for youth baseball and softball league play. The Park and Recreation Department is currently working with neighborhood and sport associations on the funding and redevelopment of the Douglas Park ball fields.

Dogs/pets are not allowed in this sports park including the baseball/softball field or multi-use areas.

Douglas Park History

A place of significant sports history, Douglas Park was home to the Rock Island Independents from 1907 to 1925. The Rock Island Independents was an original member of the National Football League (originally called the National Football Association). The Independents became famous in the Midwest , and Douglas Park was the site of the first ever National Football League contest on September 26, 1920 when Rock Island Independents defeated the non-member St. Paul Ideals 48-0. Many games were held with large crowds hosting famous teams such as Decatur Staleys (who later became the Chicago Bears), Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Cardinals. Numerous Pro Football Hall of Fame players played at Douglas Park including Jim Thorpe, Curly Lambeau, George Halas, Ed Healey, Jimmy Conzelman, Joe Guyon, George Trafton, and Paddy Driscoll.  

Other notable history:

  • The Rock Islanders minor league baseball franchise (1920-21), Mississippi Valley League (1922-1933), Western League (1934-1937)
  • The first college football game between University of Iowa and University of Illinois was played on November 20, 1899.
  • Hosted ISC World Fastpitch Softball Tournament from 1961-1969 and again in 1973.

Douglas Park Renovations

The Parks and Recreation department and Friends of Douglas Park are currently working on the funding and continued redevelopment of Douglas Park. Many projects at Douglas Park have been completed including: new large ball field with turf, irrigation, dugouts, fencing and scoreboard, new concession stand and press box, new parking lot, new lighted community playground, exterior bench seating, and removal of all exterior fencing giving a more open and inviting feel for the community. $500,000 in newly awarded grant funds and donations (OSLAD, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Gerry Huiskamp, and Friends of Douglas Park) have been secured to continue improvements including a northwest youth ball field, ADA drinking fountains, ADA bathrooms, and new multi-use sports field.

Continued fundraising efforts are still underway to fully complete the multi use sport field as well as the last phase of the Douglas Park Project which will be installing lighting on all fields and the parking lot, replacing exterior sidewalks, refurbishing the old firehouse into a youth learning center, and signage along 18th Avenue. This phase is hoped to be completed over the next two years. 

Friends of Douglas Park

The Friends of Douglas Park is an IRS501c3 recognized non-profit organization designed with the objective of partnering and utilizing both private and public resources to rejuvenate, repurpose and maintain the vitality of Douglas Park in Rock Island as a local, state and national Historical Legacy and Destination. 

To support Friends of Douglas Park in rejuvenating and maintaining the vitality of Douglas Park as a local, state and national historical legacy and destination, as well as a safe, well-known and proud location for a variety of neighborhood, community and regional activities you can help in many ways including joining the Friends with a $20.00 annual membership, donating your time by volunteering for work day projects or fundraising events, or purchasing merchandise for sale. Contact FODP at to get involved or visit the Friends of Douglas Park facebook page. For more information on Douglas Park please call Rock Island Parks and Recreation at (309) 732-7275.  

View a detailed map of the park.

Parks and Recreation Department
4303 24th Street
 Activity Guide IconRock Island, IL 61201 
 Ph: (309) 732-7275
 Fx: (309) 732-7278
Email     ePark  
 7:00 am - 6:00 pm                            
 Monday - Thursday                            
 7:00 am - 5:00 pm                             
 9:00 am - 1:00 pm