launches “State Parks, Great Parks” initiative
Agency reinvestment in state parks
beginning to pay off; new website makes it easier to find sites and
outdoor recreation throughout Illinois
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[June 21, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of
Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller today officially
launched a new initiative aimed at using dedicated funds to make
Illinois state parks great parks. During the last year, the agency
has been using new sustainability funds to hire more staff and
replace aging maintenance equipment at state parks. The “State
Parks, Great Parks” initiative will continue the effort to rebuild
the Illinois State Park System this summer with infrastructure
improvements throughout Illinois.
“We were entrusted with new revenues to improve
our parks through the passage of the sustainability bill in late
2012, and we are using those funds for the purposes for which they
were intended. Illinois has wonderful natural beauty, and this
early investment is the beginning of making our state parks great
parks,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.
Visitors at many state parks are beginning to
see visual signs of improvements, including upgrades to campground
areas with the addition of new fire rings, picnic shelters and park
restroom structures. Visitors at many sites are also seeing
improved trail maintenance.
In an ongoing effort to improve online customer
service, the IDNR has made several enhancements to its website,
including today’s launch of the “State Parks, Great Parks portal,”
which will allow visitors to more easily find information on state
parks or outdoor activities, browse through new multi-media
features, or reserve a campsite. The new portal page can be found
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In 2012, Illinois lawmakers approved a $2 fee increase on
Illinois vehicle registrations which generates nearly $20
million annually in dedicated revenue for Illinois State Parks.
The IDNR is using these much needed funds to begin to clear
hundreds of millions of dollars in backlogged maintenance
projects at state parks.
[Text received; ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT
OF NATURAL RESOURCES]