Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Crystal cleared: Makeover underway at Urbana's signature park

URBANA — It will take multiple years and multiple millions of dollars, but the Urbana Park District is ready to take on a major makeover of its oldest and largest property, Crystal Lake Park.

And the focus will be on the unaptly named Crystal Lake, the 9-acre, man-made body of water fed not by a spring or freshwater stream but by about 160 acres of mostly urban north Urbana runoff.

Prairie Rivers Network marking 50th anniversary on Sunday

MONTICELLO — On Sunday, the Prairie Rivers Network will celebrate its 50th anniversary as well as the people whose successful opposition to the Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Oakley Reservoir on the Sangamon River gave it its start.

Letter from Birdland: A fantastic day of fellowship

In Birdland, the wind pummels the trees, and the rain fills the grass waterway, washing out some corn and forming a wide delta behind the Benson Timber.

And yet it rains. I know it will stop in the next few days, and the sun will come out, and we will be glad for the green grass, but today the dampness seeps into my bones.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Group that saved Allerton still going strong

I discovered Allerton Park near Monticello when I came to Illinois as a graduate student in the Department of English more than 30 years ago. Immersed as we were in reading and writing and teaching, my friends and I prized the opportunity to clear our heads there by walking the trails in the natural areas and wandering among the formal gardens.

Entertainment listings, May 11-18, 2017


This weekend


Visit Champaign County honors 5 who helped tourism

CHAMPAIGN — When tourists come through town, they often stop at the Esquire.

When they do, Jessica Basalay often helps them figure what to do in Champaign.

"They're always wondering where to go next, and what's in town, and where's good food, and I always send them to local places and recommend them local beers," Basalay said.

PODCAST: Derek Peterson of Allerton Park

PODCAST: Derek Peterson of Allerton Park: Play now!

Allerton Park & Retreat Center Associate Director Derek Peterson discusses the latest improvements to the park and upcoming events.


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Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Beyond Monarchs and milkweed

On Saturday, the local conservation group Grand Prairie Friends will conduct a sale of native prairie and woodland plants inside Lincoln Square Village in Urbana.

Hegeler gives $3 million to Danville's Palmer Arena

DANVILLE — Officials at the David S. Palmer Arena will be able to make significant improvements to the facility's aging ice-making system thanks to a local philanthropist.