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It's official: Closed parks to reopen (photo added)

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Gov. Quinn is reopening the seven closed state parks closed by former Gov. Blagojevich. That fulfills a commitment Quinn made days after Blagojevich was arrested and was first reported here Dec. 12.

dnrsign

And may signs like this go far back into storage.

Below is the office release on the reopening.

Governor Quinn Calls on IDNR to Reopen State Parks

Action fully reopens seven state sites closed last year; restores 12 full time jobs to agency

SPRINGFIELD - In another important step towards returning Illinois back to the people, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the reopening of seven state parks closed last year by the Blagojevich administration. The move is another sign pointing toward the state's renewed focus on natural resources and recreational opportunities for its citizens especially in tough economic times.

Governor Quinn made the announcement at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) 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," said Governor Quinn. "The value of these open spaces is immeasurable to children, families and local communities that depend on these parks for crucial economic stability."

Today's announcement officially starts the process of reopening Castle Rock State Park and Lowden State Park in Oregon, Illini State Park in Marseilles, Hidden Springs State Forest in Strasburg, Moraine View State Park in Leroy, Weldon Springs State Park in Clinton, and Wolf Creek State Park in Windsor. IDNR will immediately begin the process of re-staffing 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 Governor 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 two 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 annually.
• Those visitors 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 through out the state.

Illinois residents report their favorite outdoor recreation activities include walking/hiking, wildlife watching, picnicking, bicycling, fishing and swimming- all opportunities available at Illinois state parks.

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7 Comments

How the heck does Quinn think 7 state parks can be run by 12 people?

Bring back ALL the DNR staff laid off when the parks were closed.

Then start hiring back some of the 1,500+ DNR employees Blagojevich cut over the years as he destroyed the agency.

Otherwise this is just a photo opp, press pop gimmick. What we need is a DNR that works again.

No doubt that we need a DNR that works again.
We need a whole lot of things in this state working again.
Gov. Quinn is taking a step in the right direction here, but faces some enormous challenges that have monumental financial concerns attached to them.
The state is a mess, from top to bottom.
Cut the fat and pork from the top.
Rectify wherever possible, malfeasances such as the issue of Granbergs pension, abuse of travel expense accounts such as we saw with Sam Flood, etc. etc. etc.....
Every agency needs to be closely looked at, turned upside down, and righted again.
I am very pleased that Gov. Quinn seems to place a lot of importance on righting the DNR.
I would support a user-fee annual sticker for our state parks as a revenue stream to get this state back on the top.
But I would have to have confidence that the revenue from such a sticker program is in fact going into the DNR budget.
We need honest leaders with integrity.
I think Quinn fits that description.
We need to get rid of dishonest leaders that are content to ride on our backs.

Thank-you so much Gov. Quinn, we as a family have celebrated our reunion at Illini state park for more years than i have been on this earth, which will be 63 years come this June. Our family is so very grateful that the celebration goes on for all that are here on this day and for the memory of those who have gone before.. They taught us the value of family and tradition and it must continue in their honor..

Thank you for reopening the parks. They're the only recreation a senior can afford!

Does anyone know if the State park in Channahon, IL will re-open?

It's open.

Now that the closed state parks will reopen (Lowden State Park Oregon, Il) How much money will it cost per night to tent camp at Lowden SP ?

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on February 26, 2009 12:01 PM.

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