Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

GOW: Kay Gilliland

Kay Gilliland's garden at her home in Savoy on Thursday, June 28, 2012.

Expert: Give trees a good soaking to save them from stress

CHAMPAIGN — Forget about your lawn, says Jay Hayek, just water your trees.

Central Illinois Daily Life: July 2012

News-Gazette staff photos from central Illinois in July of 2012.

Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 not quite ready to reopen

OAKWOOD — Motorists eager to use the Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 just east of Oakwood will have to wait a while longer.

The rest area has been closed for six months because of "septic issues," but an Illinois Department of Transportation official says it may reopen by mid-fall.

Democracy in action in song list for Freedom Celebration's fireworks

CHAMPAIGN — "R.O.C.K. in the USA" needs to be on the list. It's the opener this year.

Ray Charles' "America The Beautiful" is a classic. Throw it on the list.

Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger"? Sure.

What would the fireworks show during the Champaign County Freedom Celebration be without music?

Danville police to be on lookout for seat belts, drunk drivers

DANVILLE — If your Independence Day plans involve getting into a vehicle, buckle up and don't drink and drive.

That's because Danville police will be cracking down on drunk and unbuckled drivers during a special traffic enforcement, which runs through Wednesday. The crackdown is part of the statewide, "Independence Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and Click It or Ticket campaign.

Volunteers work on new floats for Independence Day parade

PHILO — Susan Ward and more than 15 other volunteers spent the weekend reviving a longtime Independence Day tradition: making floats for the Champaign County Freedom Celebration parade.

The float builders gathered at a shed Saturday in rural Philo to build two original floats.

Dry conditions force Monticello to cancel its fireworks show

MONTICELLO — Organizers of the Monticello Freedom Festival have joined several other Illinois communities in canceling fireworks because of exceptionally dry conditions.

Tuesday's show planned for Lodge Park north of town will not be rescheduled.

Park districts get state grant

CHAMPAIGN — Both park districts in Champaign-Urbana will each be getting a $400,000 state grant after Gov. Pat Quinn this week announced more than $12 million in park assistance throughout Illinois.

Park board working on facelift for Spalding

CHAMPAIGN — Officials still are undecided whether to build a new pool at Spalding Park, but they are approaching the final details of a facelift for the entire area.