Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Balloons over Vermilion putting kids to work

DANVILLE — When Jessica Alyea's students at Northeast Elementary Magnet School in Danville learned they would be getting more homework this year, they cheered.

A walk on Yellowstone's wild side

URBANA — You could call it a memorable meeting of the minds.

It was eight years ago in winter at Yellowstone National Park when University of Illinois Professor Bruce Fouke met famed nature photographer Tom Murphy.

The U.S. National Park Service had hired Murphy to photograph Fouke as he finished up research he'd been doing at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Entertainment listings, Feb. 23-March 2, 2017


This weekend


What: Hosted by Unity West PTO. Arrive early to pick your own table, view and bid on the silent auction items. Maximum of eight players per table; work as a team to come up with the answers. 50/50 raffle and games between rounds. Bring your own food.

'Commissioners Park' name gets thumbs-up in study session

CHAMPAIGN — One of Champaign's newest parks could officially have a name two weeks from now.

During a study session on Wednesday, three of the Champaign Park District's five park commissioners agreed that the 20 acres of land directly north of the Trails of Abbey Fields subdivision be named Commissioners Park.

Tests for coal-ash contamination keeping Kickapoo pond closed

OAKWOOD — A pond at Kickapoo State Park will remain off-limits to fishermen for the foreseeable future as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources continues analyzing whether a coal-ash dump nearby has contaminated the area.

Pond 6, as it's known, is on the south side of Kickapoo and has been closed to the public for about three years.

Lieutenant governor praises Urbana Aquatic Center in visit

URBANA — The Urbana Aquatic Center — owned by the school district and managed by the park district — was praised Tuesday by a top state official as a shining example of how shared services by local governments can lighten the tax load on citizens.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 21, 2017

It doesn't take a thermometer to figure out it's unseasonably warm.

All those golfers give it away.

"It's like it's May already," MIKE WALLNER said Monday afternoon.

The University of Illinois' director of golf said more than 450 rounds were played over the weekend, with Monday's total expected to be about 175.

Getting Personal: Joe DeLuce

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 59-year-old JOE DeLUCE, the executive director of the Champaign Park District and a football player turned golfer, chats with staff writer PAUL WOOD.

You've been with the park district for nearly two decades. How have parks changed their mission over all those years?

Entertainment listings, Feb. 16-23, 2017


This weekend


What: Presented by the Save the Lorraine Foundation. Limited to 12 teams of up to five people; come alone and join a smaller team. Free theater popcorn, cookies and a small bottled water or soda. Winning team members receive refund of entry fee, and a door prize will also be awarded.

Hopping to it at Allerton Park

MONTICELLO — If you like beer and want to learn more about it, hop to it!

The Allerton Park and Retreat Center will offer this weekend "Experience the Hops," an event that will feature afternoon seminars, a dinner with beer pairings and an overnight stay in the Allerton Mansion for those participants who don't want to drive home.