Dear Readers, The governor has decided to close indefinitely many central Illinois state parks and historic sites.
When I moved to Illinois I was astonished that entry to the state parks here is free. You can come and go as often as you like. When selecting to live in Le Roy, one factor was the proximity to Moraine View State Park. It's no Garden of the Gods or Turkey Run, but living 10 minutes away from a forest and a beach is better than having no access to green space. We also live 25 minutes from Weldon Springs State Park which also has a forest, a lake, and a restaurant.
State parks like Moraine View and Weldon Springs are a big part of what makes central Illinois livable. We may have to drive everywhere. We may have a hard time finding good restaurants. We may have to rely on the big box stores more than we like. But we have lots of access to green space, well maintained and well loved parks. During my times as a stay at home parent, I relied on the free state park system for entertainment, exercise, and introducing my child to nature. Closing our state parks, even in winter, hurts central Illinois where it counts.
I will be writing the governor about the closings. I'll copy my state legislators, but frankly I don't think the General Assembly is the problem here.
You can e-mail the governor here.
I'll send a real letter to his Chicago office:
100 W. Randolph St., Ste. 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601-3220
If you write, remember to address your letter to either the Honorable Rod Blagojevich or Governor Blagojevich. In the salutation use, Dear Mr. Governor or Dear Governor Blagojevich.
Keep it one page and one issue. Tell the governor that you are a constituent and identify the issue about which you are writing. Hit your three most important points and flesh them out. Tell the governor why state park closings matter in your community. Include a personal story that shows how this issue affects you and your family. If you have a relationship with the governor (voted for him, contributed money or time, know him personally) include that information.
Don't forget to spell check!
You are the expert. How often do you think the governor has enjoyed your local state park? Be courteous, but don't be afraid to take a firm position.