Quinn made the announcement at the Illinois Department of Natural
Resources headquarters in Springfield, alongside IDNR Director Marc
Miller and IDNR staff and supporters.
"This is a great day for the
people of Illinois. State parks protect some of our most precious
habitat and provide opportunities for families to find outdoor
recreation close to home. These are the people's parks, and the
people have the right to enjoy them in good and bad economic times,"
Quinn said. "The value of these open spaces is immeasurable to
children, families and local communities that depend on these parks
for crucial economic stability."
The announcement officially started the process of reopening
Castle Rock State Park and Lowden State Park at Oregon, Illini State
Park at Marseilles, Hidden Springs State Forest at Strasburg,
Moraine View State Park at LeRoy, Weldon Springs State Park at
Clinton, and Wolf Creek State Park at Windsor. The Department of
Natural Resources will immediately begin the process of restaffing
the sites as quickly as possible.
"Today is another meaningful step to putting the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources back on the right track. For far too
long, this agency, our staff and the people we serve have been
abused and broken," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "I want to thank
Gov. Quinn for acting quickly to return these great places back to
the people and for recognizing the importance that outdoor
recreation has in Illinois."
Reopening these seven state sites gives back dozens of
recreational opportunities, including camping, fishing and hiking,
to more than 2 million visitors each year.
IDNR sites -- state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation
areas, habitat areas, and other open spaces -- have a significant
economic impact, especially in the state's more rural areas,
bringing in non-local visitors who contribute to local economies by
supporting local businesses.
An estimated 44
million people visit Illinois state parks and other state sites
spend an estimated $500 million in local economies each year.
That spending results in an estimated
$790 million in overall economic impact, supporting nearly 8,500
jobs throughout the state.
Illinois residents report that their favorite outdoor recreation
activities are walking, hiking, wildlife watching, picnicking,
bicycling, fishing and swimming -- all opportunities available at
Illinois state parks.
General information on closed state parks
Castle Rock State Park is a 2,013-acre park in the Rock River Hills
region of Illinois, in Ogle County. The park is well-known for its
rock formations, ravines and the sandstone bluff the park is named
for. The annual visitation is over 150,000 and provides recreational
opportunities for picnicking, camping, hiking, boating, fishing and
Lowden State Park is a 207-acre park located along the Rock
River in Ogle County. It is home to a 50-foot Native American statue
commonly known as Black Hawk. The park has an average annual
attendance of over 250,000 visitors and provides recreational
opportunities for picnicking, camping, hiking, boating and fishing.
[to top of second column]
Illini State Park is a 507-acre park located along the Illinois
River in LaSalle County. In the 1930s, the Conservation Civilian
Corps built several buildings that are still used by the park today.
It has an annual attendance of over 700,000 and provides
recreational opportunities for riverside picnic areas, camping,
boating, fishing and hiking.
Hidden Springs State Forest is a 1,120-acre forest in Shelby
County. It is named for seven known springs on the property that
were used for drinking water by the early settlers. Over the years
these springs have been covered over by natural siltation and
vegetation -- hence the name Hidden Springs. It has an annual
attendance of over 175,000 and provides recreational opportunities
for picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking and hunting.
Moraine View State Park is a 1,687-acre facility in McLean
County that is developed for picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming,
fishing, boating, horseback riding and hunting. The trail system
also provides opportunities for handicapped people, and the trails
are groomed in the winter for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Weldon Springs State Park is a 550-acre park in DeWitt
County. The park is home to the historic Union School building,
which was moved from Logan County to the prairie at Weldon Springs,
restored, furnished and equipped for use as both a visitor center
and a temporary classroom for area school groups that wish to
relocate for a day. The park has an annual attendance of over
333,000 and offers recreational opportunities for picnicking,
camping, fishing, hiking and hunting.
Wolf Creek State Park is located on Lake Shelbyville on lands
leased from the Army Corps of Engineers in Shelby County. It has a
very popular campground with 430 sites and is a popular equestrian
destination. The four-lane boat launching ramp provides for a
variety of water sports, and the sandy beach provides easy access
for swimming. Shelbyville Lake provides prime and productive fishing
opportunities. The park has an annual attendance of over 412,000 and
provides recreational opportunities for picnicking, camping, boating
Department of Natural Resources
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]