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Popular Northern Illinois Parks Will Expand

Illinois DNR
the two state parks with the new land in purple

Two of Illinois' most popular parks are getting bigger - a lot bigger. Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner announced the state has bought more than 2,600 acres in LaSalle County, next to Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks. 

The Illinos DNR spent 11 million dollars to buy the property from Lone Star Industries, which along with its predecessor companies owned the land since the early 1900's. Originally it was mined for coal, then limestone, and then used as a site for making cement.

State officials say the property will be managed as part of the Starved Rock - Mattheissen state park complex. And planning is underway to restore it, with forest, prairie, and wildlife habitat, plus trails, campgrounds, and access to the Vermillion River. 

In recent years, both parks have been filled to capacity on weekends. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.