ELDORADO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today toured the Eldorado Wildflower Garden with members of the Eldorado Garden Club. Eldorado is one of many communities across the state that receive funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through the First Lady’s State Beautification Initiative, a product of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s focus on environmental issues. State Representative Brandon Phelps (D – Harrisburg) and Bob Briddick, the Mayor of Eldorado, were also in attendance.
“The people of Eldorado have cultivated a truly beautiful garden for their community and passing motorists to enjoy,” said First Lady Blagojevich. “I want to thank them, along with all the other volunteers in communities across the state, for sharing their talents with our state and helping to enhance Illinois’ natural beauty.”
While Illinois was once covered in prairies that bloomed with a variety of foliage, only a small portion of that original beauty remains for today’s Illinoisans to appreciate. The purpose of the State Beautification Initiative is to improve the quality of life in the state, while also restoring Illinois’ ecological identity.
Eldorado received its funding through the Wildflowers for Communities portion of the Beautification Initiative, which provided grants to selected communities around the state. These communities chose a site along their local state highways to put in plants and pledged to maintain the site for at least two years. Eldorado chose the intersection of Route 45 and 4th Street.
Regionally, Mt. Vernon, Harrisburg, West Frankfort, and Carbondale received similar grants. Communities interested in the program should send a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation:
Timothy W. Martin
2300 S. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62764
The First Lady was honored in April, along with the IDOT employees who help make the Wildflower Program possible, by the Garden Clubs of Illinois, Inc, for her commitment to beautify roadways around the state through the planting of trees and flowers.
More information on the First Lady’s Wildflower Program is available through her website, http://www.illinois.gov/firstlady/wildflowers.cfm.