Parks and Recreation
CHAMPAIGN – Wide-eyed 8-year-old Elijah Wasson of Champaign was awestruck as he saw a pumpkin soar overhead some 900 feet before splattering in a grassy field.
"Whoa!" he said as he gazed at the sky. "That was awesome!"
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign parks officials and local developers apparently will continue to agree to disagree about a method to provide new park space in the city's growth areas.
A joint meeting Wednesday night between the Champaign City Council and the park district board highlighted the continuing rift between the park board, which wants a mandatory land dedication law for residential developments, and developers, who favor what has been termed a "mandatory collaboration."
WESTVILLE – Right now, the 107-acre field just east of Forest Glen Preserve looks like any other unharvested cornfield in Illinois, but over the next three years, that land will slowly transform into the largest single piece of upland prairie in Vermilion County.
On Wednesday, the Vermilion County Chapter of Pheasants Forever closed on the purchase of the 107 acres, which borders Forest Glen Preserve, just east of the county park's main entrance.
MAHOMET – All of the predictions about recession-related "staycations" proved true this summer for the campground at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's Middle Fork Preserve near Penfield.
Forest preserve board members learned Monday that campground revenue this year probably will be the highest in at least seven years, if not in the history of the park.
CHAMPAIGN – Construction on two water detention basins between University and Springfield avenues have resulted in some big holes.
But the project, scheduled to be done by the end of next year, is mostly on track.
BEMENT – Two new "Looking for Lincoln" exhibits and a Lincoln-related photographic exhibit are coming to the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site this weekend.
Site manager Marilyn Ayers said two Lincoln wayside exhibits will be unveiled and dedicated during a ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the historic site, located at 146 E. Wilson St., Bement.
TILTON – The Tilton Historical Society has changed its hours of operation for the winter months.
The archives room and museum will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays at its new building just west of the old Tilton Grade School, 201 W. 5th St.
URBANA – Carle Park began Sunday with a large crater at its center.
By late afternoon, the crater was filled with wood chips and playground equipment, and a dozen boys and girls were playing on a teeter totter, swings, a slide and other attractions.
PAXTON – When the Paxton Park District closed the skate park at Coady Park a month ago, Tom DePasquale reacted like a rebel without a cause – until he realized he had a cause worth working for with others.
At first, the 17-year-old PBL High School senior jumped the fence of the locked facility. He broke city ordinance by skating on downtown Paxton streets, sidewalks and parking lots.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Ski Club is accepting applications for its new "Anyone Can Ski" program for people with disabilities.
The club is raising funds to send a skier and a guardian or companion on a ski trip to the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. The center helps people with many types of disabilities learn to ski and enjoy mountain fun.