Parks and Recreation
CHAMPAIGN – This spring, students from Champaign's Central High School created a spreadsheet for the Urbana Park District to help it analyze its customers for pool passes.
It was one of four projects by students in David Fones' word processing class.
RANTOUL – With Crystal Lake Pool in Urbana closed until the second week of June, Rantoul community leaders hope swimmers from Urbana will consider driving up U.S. 45 to the Rantoul Family Aquatic Center.
"We're ready to rock," said Rantoul Recreation Director Rich Thomas.
DANVILLE – Bulletproof glass and a double-fence gate are just a few of the changes ahead for the city pool this swimming season.
Construction will begin soon on a new entrance that includes security improvements for the gate and the cashier's booth, recreation manager Cindy Parson said.
CHAMPAIGN – How much of a bite will gas prices take out of tourism this summer?
It's anyone's guess, but the Illinois Bureau of Tourism is promoting inexpensive, close-to-home traveling just in case.
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.