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Governor plans to close Weldon Springs park Eleven state parks, 15 historical sites to get the chop

Modified: Friday, Aug 29th, 2008

CLINTON — The Clinton Journal learned on Thursday that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will close Weldon Springs State Recreation Area and 10 other state parks effective Nov. 1

The closures are the result of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s efforts to slash state expenditures.

“This is a very tough day for IDNR and for Illinois,” said Chris McCloud, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. “These are not decisions that we wanted to make. Today we had the tough job of notifying 39 employees at DNR as of Nov. 1 there jobs would be lost. Those 39 (employees) that go along with the 11 state parks that will be closing throughout Illinois.” Site Superintendents (Dave Herzog at Weldon Springs) will remain at each facility for basic maintenance and security, McCloud said. “Could this just be a temporary scare? That would be a speculation, and I can’t speculate at this point. We are concentrating on today,” he said.

Adrian Kielar, Office Administrator at Weldon Springs State Park learned she was losing her job from a source other than the IDNR, but she could not comment about the situation.

Kayla Koons, owner of at Boondocks II restaurant at Weldon Springs, had no idea that the state was even talking about closing the park. She found out small details when Dave Herzog came to talk to her on Thursday. Koons reported that she thought Herzog was meeting with the IDNR officials yesterday afternoon. “I just can’t believe it. I have invested so much money out there it is not even funny. I can’t believe this is happening,” Koons said with a shaken voice. “I’m frantic right now.”

“Can you imagine no camping, no fishing for the kids? It’s just not right. “I have all this money wrapped up out there. I know I will have to move out. I will have to move it to another location, and I only have two months to do it.”

Fifteen state historical sites, including the David Davis Mansion, in Bloomington, are also part of the closures.


Castle Rock State Park, Oregon

Lowden State Park, Oregon

Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, Sheffield Illini State Park, Marseilles

Rice Lake Conservation Area, Canton

Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon

Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris

Hidden Springs State Forrest, Strasburg

Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood

Moraine View State Park, LeRoy

Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton


Dana Thomas House, Springfield

Hauberg Indian Museum at Blackhawk State Historic Site, Quad-Cities

Lincoln Log Cabin, Lerna

David Davis Mansion, Bloomington

Fort de Chartres, Randolph County

Vandalia Statehouse, Vandalia

Bishop Hill, Henry County

Carl Sandburg, Galesburg

Cahokia Courthouse, Cahokia

Bryant Cottage, Bement

Jubilee College, Peoria County

Apple River Fort, Elizabeth

Fort Kaskaskia, Randolph County

Pierre Menard Home, Randolph County

Information from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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