SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the release of more than $7.7 million in state funds from 2002 and 2003 Capital funds for a series of improvement projects at state parks and facilities managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Our beautiful Illinois state park system attracts more than 44 million visitors annually, providing a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities,” Governor Blagojevich said. “These important projects will enhance the safety, access and amenities at a number of parks for Illinois families and visitors to our state to enjoy.”
The capital improvement projects include:
Beaver Dam State Park, Macoupin County, $730,000 to install a new sewage treatment facility serving the park’s campground, shower building, concession building and site office. Those facilities are currently served by small, aged waste treatment systems in need of replacement to meet sewage treatment standards. The 750-acre park surrounding Beaver Dam Lake is located south of Carlinville in central Illinois.
Fox Ridge State Park, Coles County, $160,000 for the first phase of a project to plan and begin replacement of the emergency spillway at Ridge Lake within the park, located on the Embarras River near Charleston in east central Illinois. The concrete chute’s deteriorated construction joints have caused widespread cracks. The project will include a hydraulic and hydrology study of the watershed and the lake’s primary spillway, de-watering of the lake for improvements on and near the dam, possible dredging of the lake during construction, improvement of the dam drain system, and regrading of the downstream embankment.
Pere Marquette State Park, Jersey County, $1,775,000 to renovate and rehabilitate facilities at the Pere Marquette Lodge complex. Interior and exterior work will include upgrading existing fire alarm, fire suppression, heating and cooling systems; replacing doors, locks, glass, and water heaters; repair and replacement of roofing and siding; painting and staining of the lodge and cabins; walkway, curb, retaining wall and exterior lighting improvements; road and parking lot resurfacing; and, irrigation system improvements. The popular lodge is a centerpiece of the 8,000-acre Pere Marquette State Park overlooking the Illinois River near Grafton in southwest Illinois. Lodging and other accommodations include 50 rooms and 22 stone cabins, a 150-seat dining room, and 2,900 square feet of meeting room space.
Red Hills State Park, Lawrence County, $850,000 for new fishing and dock facilities, a new boat access ramp, roadway repairs, installation of electrical service in the park’s equestrian campground, and improvements to the site office. The new fishing pier and floating docks will replace dilapidated facilities at the park’s 40-acre lake. The boat access will be relocated to provide easier access and more parking. The campground project will include electric service for 11 campsites, water and toilet improvements, and improved lighting. Roadway improvements will include a resurfacing of the park concession entrance road and parking area. An addition to the site office will include new workspace and public restrooms. The 948-acre Red Hills State Park is located on U.S. Route 50 at Sumner, midway between Lawrenceville and Olney in southeast Illinois.
Sam Parr State Park, Jasper County, $2,395,000 for improvements to recreation facilities including boat docks, fishing accesses, boardwalks, sidewalks, restrooms, playgrounds and lighting. Boat access improvements include installation of new docks and reinforcement of the shoreline rip rap on the park’s 183-acre lake. Fishing access will be improved with a new floating pier to provide access to people with disabilities. Campground improvements will include a new playground, along with electric service, toilet building, water, pavement and lighting upgrades. The 1,180-acre Sam Parr State Park is located near Newton in southeast Illinois.
Siloam Springs State Park, Adams and Brown counties, $1,200,000 for design and construction of a new office and service building and conversion of the existing building for equipment storage. The park’s existing office and service building was constructed in 1968. The new 3,000-square foot building will house the park office, public service area, campground registration and vehicle bays. The existing office will be converted for use as a storage building. Parking for visitors and staff will be expanded. Other park improvements will include upgrading the site septic system, trailhead and drainage. The 3,323-acre Siloam Springs State Park is located near Clayton, east of Quincy, on the Adams-Brown county line in west-central Illinois.
Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Tazewell County, $500,000 to stabilize 1.5 miles of the lake shoreline to prevent further erosion and levee damage. The project will include grading, seeding and installation of rip rap material to stabilize the shoreline, along with removal of trees and shrubs that have damaged the levee. The project will also include replacement of 1,500 feet of roadway damaged by erosion. The 2,000-acre site, featuring the 1,285-acre Spring Lake, is located on the east side of the Illinois River just north of Manito in central Illinois.
White Pines Forest State Park, Ogle County, $50,793 to begin planning and design of a renovation of the White Pines Lodge and $100,000 to begin planning and design for a replacement of the park’s sewer system. The log cabins, restaurant and gift shop buildings at the White Pines Lodge complex were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1933-1939. Since a renovation in 1985, only routine maintenance projects have been undertaken. The first phase of this renovation project involves a detailed study of the work needed on each structure, sidewalks, drainage system and parking lot. The lodge complex is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park’s current sewage system was installed in 1968. The new system will be designed to accommodate waste from the lodge complex, campground, shower building and campground dump station. The 385-acre White Pines Forest State Park is located near Mt. Morris, west of Oregon in northern Illinois.