Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

$1 million gift to Allerton Park to be used to improve access to mansion

MONTICELLO — A $1 million gift to the Allerton Park and Retreat Center will improve access to the mansion, the top source of revenue for the University of Illinois park.

The gift from Dave and Debbie Rathje of Decatur will be used for a new 22-foot concrete driveway that will run along the current Gate House carriage lane, where guests would have historically approached the mansion.

Entertainment listings, Sept. 21-28, 2017

EVENTS

This weekend

PYGMALION FESTIVAL

Getting Personal: Dave Monk

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, staff writer Paul Wood chats with Dave Monk of Champaign, who has combined agriculture, artistry, engineering and education as a media presence since he came to the U.S. from Australia more than three decades ago. Monk can be heard on the WEFT-FM show "Prairie Monk" and its podcasts.

Environmental Almanac: Appreciating hummingbirds in Illinois

More often than not, when I try to point out hummingbirds to other people, I wind up gesturing toward air.

"Hey, guys," I call, "come see the hummingbird at the ... oh, nevermind."

Entertainment listings, Sept. 14-21, 2017

EVENTS

This weekend

CU PRIDE FESTIVAL AND PARADE

Scaring up a good time at Monticellobration — Festifall

It's not technically fall yet, but the orange and brown colors are already out in Monticello, where Monticellobration — FestiFall arrives Saturday with scarecrows and pumpkins, as well as classic cars and some bands.

The pretty-darn-lifelike scarecrows are already up around the courthouse square, more likely to scare off birds than the guy in "The Wizard of Oz" ever did.

Wife plants seeds to allow late husband's legacy to grow at Allerton

MONTICELLO — In the late '70s, Christie Roszkowski's husband, Mark, introduced her to Allerton Park. From then on, the couple spent a lot of time there, believing nature is good for the psyche.

In fact, Mr. Roszkowski became a Master Naturalist, aiming to do volunteer work on the trails at Allerton. A Master Gardener, his wife planned to volunteer in the gardens.

CUTC's second Penguin Project: 'Mulan Jr.'

URBANA — The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company's second Penguin Project — described as "social change disguised as theater" — will be "Disney's Mulan Jr.," to be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The performances will be at the Urbana High School Cobb Auditorium, 1002 S. Race St. Tickets range from $8 to $12.

Volunteers sought for cleanup event at Danville's Ellsworth Park

DANVILLE — Organizers are looking for volunteers to participate in a cleanup day Saturday at Ellsworth Park.

The event, sponsored by the Danville Parks and Recreation Department and Keep Vermilion County Beautiful, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon during the Vermilion River Festival. Volunteers will remove litter from the banks of the North Fork River and the surrounding park area.

Mimi's two-wheeled adventure

URBANA — Back in the day, when I was younger and lighter, I would often bicycle after work from Danville to Indianola and back, making for a nice 38-mile round trip.

Such distances were nothing to me. I had long been into bicycling, enjoying the simple freedom of wheeling through nature and the countryside on my own power and the wind through my hair, and seeing nature up close.