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Illinois Beach State Park renamed after state Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis      Send a link to a friend

[AUG. 12, 2006]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed a law July 24 officially renaming Illinois Beach State Park after longtime senator and Zion native Adeline Geo-Karis. The Lake County park, which runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Zion, will now officially be known as the Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park.

"Senator Geo-Karis faithfully served the people of this state for more than 30 years. It is only fitting that one of Illinois' most popular parks be named after one of its most popular legislators," Blagojevich said.

Stretching leisurely for 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan in northern Illinois, Illinois Beach State Park encompasses the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state. The 4,160-acre park, consisting of two separate areas, offers ample opportunities for swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and nature appreciation.

"I am extremely honored to be recognized in this way. I thank Governor Blagojevich and all my legislative colleagues very much for this acknowledgement," said Sen. Geo-Karis. "I have greatly enjoyed my time in the General Assembly and will continue to serve the people of Illinois and the people of Lake County after I leave office."

"Senator Geo-Karis has served with distinction for over 30 years as a member of the House and then the Senate," said Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago. "She has always been a strong and consistent voice for the people of her district, and this is a fitting tribute to her many years of service."

"Geo has always been a trailblazer, and dedicating this park with its seven miles of trails to her is a very fitting tribute to one of our most hardworking legislators," said Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Highwood, who introduced Senate Bill 626.

"I've had the honor to work with Senator Geo-Karis at both the local level and in the General Assembly," said Rep. Kathy Ryg, D-Vernon Hills, the House sponsor. "Renaming Illinois Beach State Park is an opportunity to honor her exceptional career in public service and thank her for her leadership and role as a mentor and positive role model to women."

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In 2000, the area encompassing Illinois Beach State Park and North Point Marina was officially designated as the Cullerton Complex in honor of William J. Cullerton Sr., a war hero, avid environmentalist and longtime friend of conservation.

In a May 2006 article published in the Chicago News Sun, Cullerton also approved of Senate Bill 626. "It's fine with me that they named the park after her," he said. "She's a fine woman and certainly deserving of it. I think they should name it after her."

"Illinois Beach State Park has served the people of northern Illinois for years, just as Senator Geo-Karis has done in her long legislative career," said Sam Flood, acting director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "It's nice to see her distinguished career honored in this way."

Adeline Geo-Karis is the first Lake County woman ever elected to the Senate and the House. She pioneered legislation on Gasonol, solar energy and other alternative energy resources. She has been cited for her sponsorship of the Nuclear Safety Preparedness Act, the Alternative Energy Act and many laws to increase safety on Illinois lakes. She is also a former mayor of Zion, where she heads her own law firm. She is the former municipal attorney for Mundelein, Libertyville Township and Long Grove School District. She also served as village attorney for Vernon Hills.

The longtime legislator was born in Tegeas, Greece, but was educated in the U.S. She attended Northwestern University, has a law degree from DePaul University and served as lieutenant commander with top-secret clearance in the U.S. Naval Reserves.

[News release from the governor's office]


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