Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today is announcing major investments that protect some of Illinois’ last wild places for future generations, and make critical improvements at Illinois state parks.
Governor Quinn announced today that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is taking these steps to protect the natural heritage of the Prairie State and provide quality outdoor recreation at our state parks:
-a 51.47 acre addition to Starved Rock State Park, featuring steep bluffs and ravines located adjacent to a dedicated nature preserve
-121 acres in Edgar County, contiguous to the northern boundary of the 87-acre Willow Creek State Habitat Area near Paris. The property will be managed for pheasant hunting, other wildlife species and additional recreational activities.
– Jenkins Marsh, a 242 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area. IDNR currently owns 5,425 acres at this location in Woodford, Tazewell and Peoria counties.
-4,400 acres of contiguous wildlife habitat north of Carbondale and contains floodplain forest along the Little Muddy River, deep-water lakes and ponds, and leased farm ground that could eventually be restored to grassland habitat.
-Improvements to trail, camping, playground, and other facilities at eight state parks across the state
We applaud Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for acting to protect these beautiful places for future generations, and for all the work they have done to restore our state parks and Illinois’ ability to protect our natural resources.
These investments in conservation will ensure that future generations can enjoy these beautiful parts of the Prairie State, and that visitors to our state parks have a great experience. They are also the result of the bipartisan support in the Illinois General Assembly that Governor Quinn built to provide sustainable, long-term funding for the Department of Natural Resources.
Six years ago, the IDNR was on the brink of collapse. Biologists and other scientists that protect our environment worried for their jobs, and some state parks were shuttered. Those were dark days, but Governor Quinn has worked to rebuild IDNR and their capacity to protect our environment and provide outdoor experiences that are important for our quality of life, and for the local economy.
Fall is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy Illinois’ great outdoors. We encourage everyone to find some time this autumn to explore an Illinois state park or conservation area, get some fresh air and see the fall colors, and celebrate what we’ve accomplished to protect beautiful parts of the Prairie State.