GPS Address: 2600 Parkside Drive, Janesville, WI 53546 | Click for directions

Chris Rabuck Memorial Bench
Chris Rabuck Memorial Bench

The Friends of Riverside Park, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2006 to revitalize and promote Janesville’s historic and scenic Riverside Park. In the past years, the Friends of Riverside Park has donated countless volunteer hours on park projects. All membership dues, honorarium and memorial funds go toward park improvements.

Mission Statement

To revitalize, preserve and promote Janesville’s historic Riverside Park.

2024 Board of Directors & Officers

  • Mary Frei, President
  • Donna DeWitt, Vice President
  • Sandy Hendricks, Treasurer
  • Judy DeRosier, Secretary
  • David Cress
  • Paula Folk
  • Jim Schmeling
  • Don Greve


The Friends of Riverside Park’s goals are to revitalize the park through infrastructure improvements while preserving and promoting the historic value natural beauty; enabling it to once again be used to its full potential.

Ongoing, annual activities:

  • Maintain flower beds (ongoing annually)
  • Riverfront & Garlic Mustard clearing (ongoing annually)
  • Wildflower Walk (April 27 @ 10AM. Register with City of Janesville Parks Dept.)
  • Host a music festival with with live bands, beer tent, family friendly menu available, children activities & Treasure Hunt.
Artesian well
Artesian well. Photo by Mary Frei.


  • Build the Lilac Circle Gazebo (2023)
  • Celebrate 100 years of Riverside Park (Aug. 2022)
  • Landscaping Lilac Circle
  • North Pavilion ceiling overhang
  • Reforestation by planting areas with new trees and flower beds. ( Friends Group and City Arborist).
  • New additions to the Kids Zone , a jeep, climbing wall, and a Tunnel Bug (2022)
  • Install handicap-accessible railing on our pier (2021)
  • Shuffleboard courts totally renovated & and new Equipment purchased (2020)
  • Pirate ship constructed in the Kids Zone Area (2020)
  • New door installed to the Cottage Building (2020)
  • Artesian Well walls were refurbished (2020)
  • Trail Security Cameras purchased (2020)
  • Concession Stand driveway/sidewalk repairs (2019)
  • Window shutters (2019)
  • Installed new GaGa Ball Pit (2019)
  • Repairing Shuffleboard courts (in progress)
  • Whale moved and repainted (2018)
  • Wading Pool became the Kids Zone Sand play area (2018)
  • Electrical Upgrades – North & South Pavilion (2018)
  • Planting and maintenance of many new plants to flower beds (2018)
  • Repair of three shuffleboard areas (2018)
  • Former wading pool transformed into a Kids Sand Play Zone (2018)
  • Water access for Lilac Circle flowers and shrubs (2018)
  • Opened concession stand (2017)
  • Restored scenic overlook and lilac circle
  • Repainted all six shuffleboard courts (2016)
  • New play equipment and new adult/child expression swings (2016)
  • Shuffleboard scoreboards replaced (2016)
  • New splash pad (2015)
  • Installed pier (North Pavilion) for watercraft recreation access (2014)
  • Reopened the upper road
  • Reopened the wading pool
  • Reopened North Restroom
  • Helped restore Devil’s Staircase
  • Removed invasive plants and trees (Devil’s staircase, north end area) (2012)
  • Upgraded the electrical at the pavilions (2012)
  • Refurbished shuffleboard benches (2012)
  • Tennis Court Restoration (2011)
  • Horseshoe Pits (2010)
  • New Roof on the North Pavilion (2010)

Become a Friend of Riverside Park

Volunteers Needed

We have many different volunteer opportunities to match your skill and interest. These areas include landscaping, research, membership, and fundraising. Need a place for your group to volunteer? We schedule work days throughout the year.

Become a volunteer today!