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Governor Quinn Investing In Parks
Although money is scarce through out the state, Gov. Pat Quinn has found a way to fund park construction.
Quinn said local parks let families across Illinois enjoy nature and spend time together. He announced Saturday state money will go towards fixing up outdoor areas including parks in Champaign, Logan, and Macon counties.
"We need some more stuff in Decatur to be able to bring our families to come and do," Decatur resident Stephanie Leevy said.
How about a mountain bike path? Quinn announced Saturday $15.3 million will go towards the local parks and open space projects.
"So we're investing $400,000 in this Nelson Park redevelopment plan, and we're very very grateful to the people of Decatur," Quinn said. "They have an evaluation, each park district that wants to apply. I think 60 applied, and we had enough money for 45, but the ones who didn't get it this time, we want them to come back."
Decatur's Nelson Park Beach is on the list to receive part of the grants. Plans will include remodeling pavilions and adding new trails around Lake Decatur.
"As well as the exercise equipment that needs to be brought in and installed, so there will be a lot of jobs, a lot of activities around the lake," Chris Riley, President of the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners, said.
And people that frequent the area say Nelson Park needs a facelift.
"I think it's really gonna help out the families and stuff," Leevy said. "It's really gonna make it a real nice and enjoyable place to bring children especially. They don't have to worry about a lot of trash on the floor."
"This is something that is locally driven, matched with local dollars," Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Mark Miller said. "It's an important way to improve the park and get people more in touched and better facilities for them when they come to the park."
Decatur's Board of Commissioner's president said they expect to begin working on Nelson Park as early as this summer. The park districts receiving those grants have to first raise the money to begin the construction work.
The state will then reimburse each city after the work is completed. Champaign County will receive $40,000 to replace outdated playgrounds. Logan County will get $400,000 for a new swimming facility.