CHAMPAIGN – Susan Reimer lives near the east side of Dan Morrissey Park in southwest Champaign.
It's a well-used park, she said, with tennis courts and lots of open space used by youth soccer leagues. But the 20-acre park is going to get even busier this summer.
CHAMPAIGN – Dearly beloved, we will gather at Centennial Park to bless the dogs.
The Rev. David Bacheller, a minister turned dentist, will perform the service at Saturday's Mutt Strut 2008, a fundraiser for the Champaign County Humane Society. But don't ask him to look at their teeth.
FISHER – There's a spot in the county's newest forest preserve, a ridge of thorn trees facing southeast, that migrating monarch butterflies like to light on in the evening.
For years they have known that the rising sun will slowly warm their bodies in the morning. A few flaps of their wings and they warm some more, before the whole ridge of trees starts to move, and the monarchs take flight to continue their trip.
DANVILLE – Carver Park is set to undergo renovations later this year.
City officials expect official word from the state this week about Danville getting $373,500 for improvements to the nearly 70-year-old park. It was once the site of a 130-unit public housing complex.
A new forest preserve for Champaign County and upgrades to parks in Champaign, Danville, Mattoon, Cissna Park and LeRoy will be made possible through more than $2.3 million in grants announced Friday by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The largest chunk – $543,000 – will go to the Champaign County Forest Preserve District to acquire 160 acres on both sides of the Sangamon River in northwest Champaign County.
MAHOMET – Museum evaluators say that outstanding outreach efforts with the community were a primary reason why the Early American Museum at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet has been awarded the highest national recognition a museum can receive – accreditation by the American Association of Museums.
Museum director Cheryl Kennedy said this marks the fourth time the Early American Museum achieved national accreditation.
CHAMPAIGN – Whether you like watching fireworks at Dodds Park or not, you'd better get used to it.
Planners say it's unlikely the show will return to its former home near Memorial Stadium even after construction there is complete.
MONTICELLO – The first portion of a proposed regional bike trail running from Allerton Park east to Champaign-Urbana and eventually to Kickapoo State Park in Vermilion County could be in place by the end of the summer.
Monticello Superintendent Floyd Allsop told the Monticello Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that the city has signed an agreement with Heartland Pathways to acquire a stretch of an abandoned railroad bed as the first part of a proposed hiking and biking trail linking Monticello with Allerton Park.
RANTOUL – Two months after the loss of a state grant nearly caused the Chanute Air Museum to close, the state has changed its mind and decided to award the grant anyway.
But the grant comes too late to save the museum's air show, which has been grounded for 2008.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a local photo contest.
Participants may submit pictures with a nature theme or something that portrays the essence of the environment. Categories and suggestions include: