Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Tree group branching out in west Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A worldwide society based in Champaign expects its staff to grow by 27 people over the next 10 years and is moving to accommodate that growth.

The International Society of Arboriculture, 1400 W. Anthony Drive, C, plans to move this weekend to the former Farm Credit Services building at West Park Court and Country Fair Drive, Executive Director Jim Skiera said.

Champaign County forest board puts tax increase on ballot

PENFIELD – Noting major growth in recent years, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District voted Thursday to put a 2-cent property tax hike on the November ballot.

"We need to be proactive," board member Edwin Herricks told the audience, mostly district employees, in order to fund a new park south of Fisher, the recently opened River Bend forest preserve near Mahomet and growth in bicycle trails and other amenities.

Champaign County forest board to consider tax increase

MAHOMET – The Champaign County Forest Preserve District board will consider asking for a 2-cent tax increase from voters at its meeting Thursday night.

Board member Robert Toalson confirmed Wednesday that the board will consider a 2-cent tax increase, which would raise about $700,000 for the district.

Kennekuk conservation education center plans unveiled

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Conservation District Foundation unveiled plans Friday for a $4 million, 33,000-square-foot education center to be built at Kennekuk County Park using a variety of "green" technologies.

Foundation board members and others took a computer-generated, three-dimensional tour of the architect's design of the timber-frame building that will not only enhance the district's educational programs but also serve as the national headquarters for the area's only national scenic river, the Middle Fork, and provide a venue for large meetings and conferences.

Idol contestants set to rock Fisher Fair crowd

FISHER – Organizers of the Fisher Fair are hoping to bring the excitement of "American Idol" to northwest Champaign County by holding the first Fisher Fair Idol.

Local residents hoping to be Fisher's answer to Carrie Underwood or David Cook will be singing at the fair's grandstand area at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the fair's opening night.

Nature Center to offer class on basic drawing

Sugar Grove Nature Center near Bloomington is offering adults the opportunity to see art in nature.

Using pencil, adult artists will explore various methods of observing and drawing nature-related subject matter from photos, still life and live specimens. Emphasis will be on components of a successful drawing, such as shapes, shading and negative space. No drawing experience is necessary, just a desire to observe and learn. Space is limited and registration is required.

County board committee to meet with nursing home officials

URBANA – The Champaign County Board's finance committee will meet with the Champaign County Nursing Home Board of Directors in joint session next week.

Brendan McGinty, the finance committee chairman, said the main agenda item will be a report on nursing home finances by University of Illinois accountancy Professor Rachel Schwartz.

Champaign officials prepare for post-fireworks traffic

CHAMPAIGN – Tom Sweeney is not about to let last year's traffic jam after the fireworks at Parkland College deter him from enjoying this year's program up close.

"We're planning on going back. I'm sure we will," said the Tolono man.

Danville Days to raise money, build community

DANVILLE – Organizers are gearing up for the inaugural Danville Days Rib Festival this Independence Day weekend, and they said businesses, organizations and individuals still have a chance to sign up to cook ribs, host a booth or participate in athletic activities.

The event, hosted by the Danville school district's athletic department, will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Ellsworth Park, 100 Ellsworth Ave. in Danville.

Westville looks to bring back Independence Day events

WESTVILLE – Some community leaders are hoping to build a new tradition in Westville – a village-wide Independence Day celebration.

Darren Van Duyn, president of the Westville Recreation League, said he and fellow league member Matt Smith said they were thinking about ways to bring people together and to raise money for the local schools, and decided to pursue a community festival.