Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Significant Structures: For Urbana's Busey's Hall/Princess Theater, a baptism by fire

URBANA — The same day as the Great Chicago Fire, all the wooden buildings on Urbana's Main Street burned down.

The only survivor: Busey's Hall, an opera house on the Busey Block built by descendants of the town's founder.

Forest preserve district hoping you'll see stars at Middle Fork

PENFIELD — Growing up in the middle of farm country in northern Champaign County, far from street lights or anything that interferes with a view of the sky, Matt Kuntz didn't think much about being able to see lots of stars and constellations on any clear night.

VIDEO: A friendly game of pond hockey in Mahomet

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MAHOMET — Instead of complaining about the bitter cold weather hitting Illinois over the last week, Josh Hinkle took advantage of it.

Entertainment listings, Jan. 4-11, 2018


This weekend


A fresh blanket of outdoor opportunities

Now that the temperatures have started climbing upward again, it's time to look for something that burns holiday calories more than making snowmen and snow angels.

Champaign Park District to offer self-defense classes for women

CHAMPAIGN — After a year of unthinkable crimes against women — including the abduction and possible killing of a visiting Chinese scholar locally — the Champaign Park District will offer training designed to help women better defend themselves.

Work on two more Kickapoo Rail Trail segments to start in 2018

ST. JOSEPH — Construction will begin in 2018 on two small segments of the Kickapoo Rail Trail in both Champaign and Vermilion counties.

They'll eventually be added to the 6.7-mile section — the first phase of the 24-mile trail to be completed — that was opened in August between Urbana and St. Joseph.

Entertainment listings, Dec. 28, 2017-Jan. 4, 2018


This weekend


What: Annual Christmas display of lights in the park.

When: Light displays, 5 to 11 p.m. every evening, Dec. 28 until Jan. 2, 2018.

Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston.

Cost: Free.

More info: Call 217-495-2800 or 217-274-2956.


Mark your calendars for Christmas-tree pickup

Now that Christmas is over and the new year is upon us, it's time to get those ornaments off the tree and kick it to the curb. The cities of Champaign and Urbana will be picking up holiday trees for recycling during the week of Jan. 8 free of charge. Here's the need-to-know:

Environmental Almanac: Observations from 2017 Christmas Bird Count

If you're out before sunrise for the purpose of birding at this time of year, you're "owling." That is, you're quietly listening for owls to call and perhaps playing a recording to prompt them. And owling is the way I started the Champaign County edition of the 2017 Christmas Bird Count on Dec.