KANKAKEE – Its been two years since the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Potawatomi and Chippewa campgrounds would received nearly two million dollars in funding to reopen at Kankakee River State Park.
On October 1st, at least one of those parks will reopen when Potawatomi welcomes back visitors for the first time in five years.
With the announcement, local legislators State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) reacted to an announcement Monday. Both representatives have worked closely together to reopen the grounds to the public.
“The Kankakee River State Park is a treasure we need to maintain and protect.” Representative Parkhurst stated Monday. “We care about our community and it took both of us, on both sides of the aisle, to accomplish the opening of the campground. Great things can happen when you put community, not politics, first.”
Having the Campgrounds reopened is expected to be a boost for the area’s economy. Potawatomi offers 110-site campground that has been shuttered since before the 2015 season for planned improvements. Attendance at the Kankakee River State Park has declined since.
“During my time representing this district, I have worked tirelessly to ensure this remarkable resource is available to residents across this region.” Senator Joyce added Monday afternoon. “I am proud of the bipartisan work Representative Parkhurst and I accomplished to bring this campground to the people we represent. As we kick off the fall season and more families are choosing to travel locally during the pandemic, the timing for the opening of the Kankakee State Park Potawatomi Campground could not be more perfect.”
Both legislators will work towards having the Chippewa campgrounds reopened next. Chippewa has been closed since 2015 due to a failed water well.