MORRIS, IL – Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris) on Aug. 24 that will help alleviate pressure on park staffs and give the public an opportunity to be more involved with parks in their communities.
Senate Bill 2882/PA 97-1082 requires the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to establish and maintain Adopt-A-Park programs that will allow private citizens to take care of a park, or a section of one, for the purpose of litter collection. The measure allows the Department to approve or deny an individual or group volunteer’s request. If the request is denied, the Department must state the reason for the request denial.
Sen. Rezin compared the intent of this legislation similar to that of the groups who clean up highways and noted that this measure could be a much-needed help to state parks.
“The state parks around our area are severely understaffed,” Sen. Rezin said. “This will allow groups to volunteer in our parks and make them look better, while allowing the staff of the parks to concentrate on other areas that need to be addressed.”
“Our parks are a treasure that we want to be available for our children and generations to come,” said Rep. Roth. “In our current economic times we have had to shift funds to crucial operations and this legislation provides the opportunity for volunteers to keep the parks pristine until the state’s financial situation improves and we can reinstate extra funding for the care of public areas and recreation facilities.”
The act is effective immediately.