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Prairie Lake campground improvements at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area     Send a link to a friend

[MAY 12, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- On May 4 Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced a $333,500 project for improved access and upgraded facilities at the Prairie Lake campground and day use area at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, located near Chandlerville in Cass County.

"The beautiful 210-acre Prairie Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek has proven to be a very popular destination for site visitors, including families, mountain bike enthusiasts, hikers, anglers and hunters who enjoy camping," Gov. Blagojevich said. "These capital fund projects will enhance the campground, as well as provide easier access for visitors to the nearby day use area shelter and to the lake itself. The improvements will mean a more enjoyable outdoor experience for campers, picnickers and other site visitors."

Among the improvements:

  • The campground parking area will be expanded to provide more space for vehicles and boat trailers. The campground has become a popular destination for boaters because of its lakeside location and boat docks available at the campground.
  • Electrical hookups are being upgraded at a number of campsites to provide 50-amp service to visitors using larger motor homes.
  • Patio pads will be installed adjacent to the nine rustic cabins located at the campground.
  • A canoe access will be added at the north end of Prairie Lake.
  • An accessible pathway and a vehicle drive and drop-off area will be added near the large lakeside shelter located in the Prairie Lake day use area.
  • Drainage will be improved on the campground road to prevent damage to the road and landscaping.

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"These improvements will make it easier for those who use the campground to park their vehicles and boat trailers nearby," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold. "The new driveway from the day use area parking lot to the lakeside shelter will enable visitors with disabilities and those with mobility difficulties to enjoy a picnic or party at the shelter."

The $333,500 capital improvement project will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board. While construction work will be ongoing during the site's busy spring and summer season, the campground will remain open and the inconvenience to visitors should be at a minimum.

The 16,550-acre Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area spans 26 square miles of rolling terrain in Cass County. The site features mature forest, open fields, grassland, rare hill prairie, lakes, ponds, streams and trails. Recreation offerings include hunting, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking and camping. The site welcomed more than 600,000 visitors last year.

For more information, contact the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, 10149 County Highway 11, Chandlerville, IL 62627; phone (217) 452-7741; e-mail; or visit

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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