DNR will close 11 parks on Nov. 1
As part of a cost-saving measure, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced it will close 11 parks as of Nov. 1 and will lay off 39 workers.
“The sites will close their doors on Nov. 1,” said Chris McCloud, a DNR spokesman. “We knew this was a possibility at DNR. The budget the governor got was $2.1 billion underfunded.
“This is a tough day. I think it’s important to understand these are not decisions we wanted to make.”
Parks that have been slated for closing include the following:
- Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
- Illini State Park near Marseilles
- Wolf Creek State Park
- Castle Rock State Park, Oregon
- Lowden State Park, Oregon
- Hidden Springs State Forest, Strasburg
- Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon
- Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris
- Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood
- Moraine View State Park, Leroy
- Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton
“We still have over 300 state parks and conservation areas we hope people will still enjoy,” McCloud said. “And those sites remain open free of charge.”
The 39 workers to be laid off include: 25 site technician II, 4 rangers, 3, site assistant superintendents, 1 office associate (part-time), 3 office coordinators (2 part-time, 1 full-time), 1 site security officer (IFPE union), 1 natural resource coordinator and 1 natural resource specialist.