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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24, 2007

Midwest Generation to fund new First Lady’s Wildflowers of Illinois site along I-474 near Peoria
Power producer to provide $30,000 for U.S. Route 24 interchange in Bartonville

PEORIA – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announces a new landscape site for First Lady Patti Blagojevich’s Wildflowers of Illinois program at the I-474 interchange with U.S. Route 24 in Bartonville near Peoria.  Chicago-based independent power producer Midwest Generation will provide $30,000 in grant funding for the beautification project at this location.

 “This is a great investment in our effort to preserve our rich natural heritage and a good example the successful efforts we’ve made to partner with the private sector to help make our main corridors more beautiful for communities and inviting to our visitors,” said Mrs. Blagojevich.

The First Lady created the State Beautification Initiative to improve the quality of life in Illinois, enhance tourism, restore Illinois’ ecological identity, and to make our state a more attractive place to live.  The Wildflowers of Illinois program was launched in 2003 as a portion of that initiative.  These programs highlight Gov. Blagojevich’s emphasis on preserving and protecting the environment in Illinois.

Benefits of state beautification projects include: fostering economic development, promoting responsible stewardship, and encouraging environmental understanding.

IDOT District 4 has prepared a landscape design for the Bartonville site.  This plan builds on work started last summer to clean up the interchange and improve the plantings at the location.  Completion of this project will improve the appearance of this gateway to the City of Peoria and the Village of Bartonville.

“The Wildflowers of Illinois program has helped improve the look and natural character of numerous locations in Illinois,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees.  “I commend First Lady Patti Blagojevich for creating this program, and thank Midwest Generation for its contribution to an effort that produces visible results, for everyone to enjoy.”

Any community may express interest in participating in “Wildflowers for Communities” programs, by submitting a letter to:

Milton R. Sees
Secretary
Illinois Department of Transportation
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62764



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