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Help the City of Jacksonville beef up its application for a state grant to complete the Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian and Bike Path. The City of Jacksonville voted unanimously to apply for a state grant via the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the final phase of the Lake Jacksonville Recreational Trail. The grant will cover 80% of the cost. You can help improve our chances of landing the state grant by signing on now, for the deadline is in the 2nd week of March.

Good: Sign online petition

Better: Email a note stating “I support the City of Jacksonville’s effort to use a IDNR RTP Grant to complete a Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian and Bike Path” to Feel free to expand with information about your interest in the lake, nature, community, health, and the like. Bonus if you can get your group or company to send a letter, saying how the trail could benefit the community.

Best: Recruit people to do the above, and/or download a petition and get people to sign. Scan and send to

Send email, mail or drop off by Monday March 11 to or Greg Hillis, Benton & Associates, 1970 W Lafayette Ave, Jacksonville, IL 62650.

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Lake Jacksonville Pedestrian & Bike Path (under construction, Feb. 2019).


Thanks to Butch Wood and Charlie’s 19th Hole, money from his annual fundraiser will go to putting in water features at the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park. Dubbed Max’s Memorial Golf Outing & Auction, the event will start noon Saturday June 10 at The Links in Jacksonville.

GOLF – Sign up by calling Butch 217.473.7428 or Keith 217.473.2236. $60 per person, 4 person scramble. Limit 36 teams. $100 deposit, rest due at event. Noon tee time.

AUCTION/PARTY- Everyone’s invited in the evening for food, fun and to bid on fantastic auction items starting at approximately 5:30. Check the event page to see what’ll be up for bid. If you’d like to contribute auction items or find out how you can help, message the Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation via Facebook.

Event info easily accessible at

Please help in our goal to bring water features (fountains, dog wash, dog spray) to the dog park.
  • Get the word out to golfers via
  • Help us find auction items (form).
  • Recruit people to come to auction.
  • Come to auction.
The Bark Park Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.





The Jacksonville Public Library has a speaker series for those interested in gardening. Here’s the remaining speakers . . .

Dragonflies 7pm June 12
For centuries dragonflies have been a source of fascination and have inspired myths across many cultures. Dr. Lawrence Zettler, Hitchcock Professor of Biology from Illinois College and illustrator of the book Dragonflies of North America, will introduce you to many unique varieties of this incredible insect and answer your questions about their habits, habitat and lifecycle.

Bats in Illinois and Around the World 7pm July 10
Dr. Bryan Arnold, Assistant Professor of Biology at Illinois College, is a behavioral ecologist who studies the social behaviors of bats. Despite their small stature, they have a huge impact on their habitat and are currently under threat. Have your questions answered and learn more about the many surprising and positive contributions bats make to the local environment.

Climate, Soil and Critters 7pm August 14
Climate change is real and happening right now. Its impacts can already be seen on a local level. Duane Friend is an Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office who will walk you through what climate change is, how it will impact your garden and trees, what changes you can expect to see in the future and the steps you can take to combat it.

For updates check the Jacksonville Public Library web page and refer to the Butterflies, Bees, Gardens and Trees series PDF schedule.

The City of Jacksonville and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host a household hazardous waste collection day 8am-3pm Saturday May 20 at Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Enter off Grand, and you drive through and don’t have to leave your vehicle. Acceptable waste includes (see link for full details) . . .

  • oil based paint,
  • paint thinner,
  • herbicides,
  • insecticides,
  • pesticides,
  • pool chemicals,
  • cleaning products,
  • mercury,
  • household batteries,
  • used motor oil,
  • lawn & hobby chemicals,
  • aerosol paints and pesticides,
  • and fluorescent lamp bulbs.

Agricultural chemicals, institutional wastes, explosives and fire extinguishers will not be accepted.

(Note latex paint is not hazardous – pop the lid off and let it dry then discard with regular trash.)

For further information, contact Phil McCarty, Director, Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency at 217.479.4616 or use contact form below.



The Friends of the Trails of the Jacksonville Park Foundation invites the public to tour the spot for a planned walk/run/ride bridge at Lake Jacksonville.

Volunteers will be on hand 5:30-6:30 Wednesday afternoon September 7 and 9-10 Saturday morning September 10 with plans for the bridge, and for a proposed bike transportation network. The final vote on the issue is expected at the city council meeting 6pm Monday September 12 (2nd floor City Hall). You can download lake plans via DropBox.

The designed and funded bridge is at the old West Lake Road crossing of Big Sandy Creek. The bridge plus the existing road bed would create a half mile of traffic-free path for families to walk or ride bikes, and enable people to run or ride bikes around Lake Jacksonville without having to travel on IL 267. Mountain bikers who made trails at Mauvaisterre Lake are chomping at the bit to put in trails at Lake Jacksonville that won’t flood. Plus fishermen will have easier access to shoreline close to the dam. And campers on the south side of the lake will have an option to get to the concession area without using their vehicles.

The area is city park land that you may visit at any time. Come during the tour time to get info, take a little walk in the woods to see the site for yourself and find out what you can do to make the bridge a reality. Use Facebook events for Wednesday and Saturday to spread the word. Or bring your dog and join in the simultaneous Dog Packs Wednesday and Saturday.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.

Directions from Jacksonville — take 267 south, turn left on New Lake Road, after RR tracks and houses turn right on West Lake Road, go about 1 mile to parking lot.


Download plans. See the city’s comprehensive plan for references to a bike path around the lake. (Develop a trail system in Jacksonville for multi-purpose use around Lake Jacksonville on p 191, search the PDF for “bike” for other references.) Send feedback on the plans below. Thanks to Shawn Artis for creating the proposed bike transportation plan outline maps. Map of lake showing public land and existing/old roads ripe to be made into trails.


Protect the Melon! logo

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Morgan County Medical Society and Passavant Area Hospital all fourth graders in the Jacksonville community will receive helmets this year as part of the Protect the Melon! campaign.

The Jacksonville Park Foundation partners with Illinois College Professor Dr. Jeremy Turner in the Protect the Melon! campaign which encourages youth to wear a helmet when biking, roller skating, riding a scooter, skateboarding or any other wheeled activity. Illinois College psychology students help with a lesson on brain health, then everyone gets a helmet.

Links, tips and information on being a Melonhead is available at

Illinois College student fits 4th grader with helmet. Photos by Darren Iozia

Illinois College student fits 4th grader with helmet. Photos by Darren Iozia

Dr. Jeremy Turner of Illinois College shows the result of a fall to an unprotected melon.

Dr. Jeremy Turner of Illinois College shows the result of a fall to an unprotected melon.

Student with helmet.

Student with helmet.

Thanks to Darren Iozia Photography for photos of the event. See more images on the Jacksonville Park Foundation – Town Brook Initiative Facebook page.  


The Jacksonville Park Foundation is working with the Pilot Club, Helmets First!, the Illinois College Psychology Club and others in the community to fund the program for future years. Contact Foundation President Steve Warmowski via to help.

The Jacksonville Park Foundation focuses on health, recreation and families. Volunteers in the group have started several initiatives to improve the quality of life in the Jacksonville community such as youth health via the Jacksonville Children’s Garden; advocating for a bridge and path at Lake Jacksonville and a Town Brook recreational trail; creation of a new dog park through the Bark Park Initiative; assisting in fundraising for a new disc golf course; and other park enhancements. The foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization and is solely reliant on private funding.

You can contribute by making a check out to Jacksonville Park Foundation and mailing to Laura Marks/JPF Treasurer, Jacksonville Savings Bank, 1211 W. Morton Ave., Jacksonville, IL 62650.

Note: due to end-of-semester scheduling issues not all 4th graders received helmets in the spring campaign. We will work with schools to hand out the remaining helmets when school is back in session next month.

Link to initial story.

Volunteers have built up great trails on the east edge of Mauvaisterre Lake in Jacksonville (On Woods Lane, first bridge south of Country Club Road). Cyclists from all over the region come ride, you should check them out, too.

Here’s a different way to enjoy the trails — at night. Rides start about an hour before sunset. The bravest riders will hang around until after the sun goes down, strap on lights and ride into the dark. Arooooooo!

Please check the Jacksonville Recreational Trails​ Facebook page before the ride to make sure they’re not too muddy. Please respect the work of volunteers and don’t rut the trails. Updates on the group’s Facebook event. No registration — no sponsor. This is a crowd-sourced event on park land.

First ride is Friday July 31st. If you can’t make it Friday, come out Saturday.

Later in the year rides can switch to Friday, or Friday and Saturday (depending on feedback). Come on out and enjoy the trails with friends. Here’s the full schedule for the year.

  • July 31-Aug 1 7pm – Alpha Dog Ride
  • Aug 28-29 7pm – Back to School
  • Sept 25-26 6pm – Harvest Moon
  • Oct 30-31 5pm – Halloween Ride (wear a costume)
  • Nov 27-28 3:30pm – Work off the Turkey Ride
Work Day Audubon Woods Lane Bike Trails Sunday 121202 TownBrook Town Brook Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography 217.473.5581 EWRM/The Image Works

Work Day Audubon Woods Lane Bike Trails Sunday 121202 TownBrook Town Brook
Photos by Steve & Tiffany of Warmowski Photography 217.473.5581 EWRM/The Image Works

Edited — Ride scheduled for July 4th called off due to the wettest June in modern Illinois history. Please respect work of volunteers and don’t ride and rut muddy trails.

C&A Construction of Jacksonville has offered a challenge to help the community in the Bark for Your Park contest. C&A will donate a dollar to PAWS for every vote for Jacksonville from now until June 10th.

Help PAWS and all dogs in the community via our PetSafe contest entry by barking twice a day at 1) PetSafe and 2) Facebook — get background info at

Remi the labradors


PAWS (Protecting Animal Welfare Society) is a non-profit animal protection organization at 400 W. Walnut St., Jacksonville IL 62650. Follow PAWS on Facebook.

Thanks to owners Clint & Abbi Stevens for supporting PAWS and this effort to bring a new dog park to Jacksonville. Their lab, Remi, was killed in a tragic accident earlier this month — and their votes in the contest are in his memory. “Our dogs need a safe place to run, play, and enjoy themselves free from danger.”Be sure to like C&A Construction on Facebook. C&A Construction, 321 Finley St., Jacksonville IL 62650.

Posted by Abbi Bradish Stevens 05/25 in comments on Jacksonville page on PetSafe’s web site . . .
Voting daily in memory of our sweet boy Remi! RIP buddy, we miss you dearly. Our other 2 Labs, Harley and Koda, would love a safe place to run and play with other dogs. Keep up the votes Jacksonville, IL.!!!

Entry Period voting ends June 10, Finalists cities will be notified June 15. Voting in the final round starts June 17 and ends July 22. See rules for more details. Jacksonville is in the running for $100,000 or one of four $25,000 runner-up prizes offered by PetSafe in the contest.

By Harry Ford

The League of American Bicyclist was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians.

In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads. The success of the League in its first advocacy efforts ultimately led to our national highway system.

Today there are 20,000 direct members and a total of 300,000 including affiliate organizations who share the League’s Vision and Mission:

The Vision is a nation where everyone recognizes and enjoys the many benefits and opportunities of bicycling.

The Mission is to lead the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

Anyone serious about improving cycling opportunities should consider joining The League—go to

By Harry Ford

The League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB) is the statewide advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education, and safety.  Our vision:  “Illinois – Land of Safe and Enjoyable Bicycling for all.”
VISION STATEMENT — Illinois – Land of Safe and Enjoyable Bicycling for all.

MISSION STATEMENT — The League of Illinois Bicyclists is the statewide advocate for all Illinois bicyclists and bicycling; promoting bicycle use, access, education, and safety.


  1. Maintain and increase access to public facilities for bicycles which will encourage their use for
    transportation, health and recreation.
  2. Educate bicyclists and motorists about their mutual rights and responsibilities.
  3. Educate bicyclists on safe cycling skills.
  4. Develop an active communications network at all levels of government throughout the state; to give voice to the needs of bicyclists.
  5. Increase the organization’s impact and effectiveness through strategic collaborations.


The vision, mission and objective statements are, like most, a bit broad and abstract, but consider the following excerpts from LIB’s short- and long-term goals list to begin to see how they manifest in specific programs:

  • Ensure that all Illinois bicyclists and motorists are exposed to bicycle safety principles and “Share the Road” training, especially grade school and Driver’s Education students
  • Increase the amount of municipal bicycle planning assistance [to community planners].
  • Work for adoption of Complete Streets (routine accommodation of bicyclists and pedestrians) road design and development policies by local government agencies.
  • Work with IDOT to implement recommendations of the state bike plan.
  • Start a Capital Improvement Program campaign to review and provide bike-friendly suggestions to towns on their upcoming road project list.
  • Conduct a “mayors’ bike challenge” to enlist local officials to take the quizzes and then encourage their constituents to do so.

In short, here is how LIB works for you . . .
LIB works with local, state, and federal officials on behalf of bicyclists.

  • Advocate bike-friendly road designs and policies
  • Promote trail development and funding at the local, state, and federal levels
  • Educate officials on why and how their towns can be bicycle-friendly
  • Develop bicycle safety education programs for cyclists and motorists
  • Serve on transportation policy-making committees
  • Propose legislation and other programs protecting cyclists’ rights on the roads

LIB works with individual bicyclists to guide their local efforts.

  • Make it easy for you to have an impact by distilling issues down to simple action alerts
  • For those wanting to get more involved locally, serve as technical, strategic, and organizing resource
  • Distribute information and answer questions on bike safety, bike laws, rides and clubs, and much more

Want to get involved in making Illinois – and Jacksonville – a “safe and enjoyable” bicycling place? Go to