Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Suit filed over controversial dirt bike track in Villa Grove

VILLA GROVE – The owners of a controversial dirt bike track in Villa Grove are taking their fight to have the property rezoned to court.

Nichelle and Brad Drew have filed a lawsuit in Douglas County court that claims Villa Grove city officials acted beyond their legal authority in refusing to allow a zoning amendment.

No decision yet on Tuscola golf cart ordinance

TUSCOLA – A proposed ordinance to allow golf carts on Tuscola streets stalled Monday night, with city council members agreeing that state law allowed too much room for liability.

The Illinois vehicle code states that golf carts cannot be operated on any street or highway unless a city, township or county authorizes their use on certain roadways. This means that any ordinance allowing golf carts in Tuscola would have to designate specific streets on which they could be operated.

Orange and Blue Festival in Gibson City to expand

GIBSON CITY – Plans are under way for the fourth annual Orange and Blue Festival in downtown Gibson City on the evenings of Aug. 14-16.

Fundraiser will support memorial park in Mahomet

MAHOMET – With the village focusing its efforts on completing Bridle Leash Park, the Brent Johnson Park Citizens Action Committee is working to get things under way in the 10 acres of green space located in the Thornewood Subdivision on the north side of Mahomet.

To raise funds to build a playground and additional recreation options for Mahomet residents, the committee is hosting Brent Fest 2008, a music festival to benefit Brent Johnson Memorial Park. Brent Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the park, 1202 E. Oak Valley.

Economy forcing campers to take fewer, shorter trips

DANVILLE – Jeff and Terry Evans of Tolono like to camp so much that in the summer, they usually go to Kickapoo State Park near Danville, park their travel trailer and drive to work.

But higher gas prices and campground fees have forced them to cut back.

Running club's Run With the Dogs set for Saturday morning

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the Champaign-Urbana running club, Second Wind, will have lots of extra legs, albeit hairy ones, to run with Saturday morning.

Seven or eight dogs from the Champaign County Humane Society are joining club members once again for a two-hour run, jog or walk at Meadowbrook Park.

Teen arrested in fights after Champaign County Fair closes

URBANA – A number of fights that broke out on north Urbana streets as the Champaign County Fair was closing Friday night resulted in the arrest of one man.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said there were about 200 to 300 people leaving the fair around 11 p.m. and "a large number were fighting" in the 1300 block of North Busey Avenue, on North McCullough Street and on North Coler Avenue, he said.

Georgetown officials vexed by plastic bottles left in park

GEORGETOWN — Empty plastic drink bottles are causing headaches for city officials.

Georgetown City Council members said Monday they were concerned about the number of plastic bottles that litter the park after sporting events.

Tree group branching out in west Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A worldwide society based in Champaign expects its staff to grow by 27 people over the next 10 years and is moving to accommodate that growth.

The International Society of Arboriculture, 1400 W. Anthony Drive, C, plans to move this weekend to the former Farm Credit Services building at West Park Court and Country Fair Drive, Executive Director Jim Skiera said.

Champaign County forest board puts tax increase on ballot

PENFIELD – Noting major growth in recent years, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District voted Thursday to put a 2-cent property tax hike on the November ballot.

"We need to be proactive," board member Edwin Herricks told the audience, mostly district employees, in order to fund a new park south of Fisher, the recently opened River Bend forest preserve near Mahomet and growth in bicycle trails and other amenities.