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Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Final selection of Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts on sale now at the YMCA.

Here’s a great idea for Christmas! Get one of our Bark Park hoodies, sweatshirts or t-shirts for your dog lover (or for yourself). Proceeds go towards add-ons and other planned improvements at the new Jacksonville PetSafe Bark Park.

Bark Park wear is currently hosted by the Bob Freesen YMCA – pick one up when you go to work out. Best to pay with check made out to the Jacksonville Park Foundation (cash ok, too). Or, send a message to the committee via the JaxBark Facebook page to have one dropped off at your office in Jacksonville. Here’s a list of our inventory — color is Bark Park Blue . . .

  • $25 Hoodie — Large, Small, Youth Large, Youth Medium
  • $20 Sweatshirt — Extra-Large, Small
  • $10 T-Shirt — Small

Updated 12/29 – No longer at YMCA, just available on request via the JaxBark Facebook page




This is it! Voting in the final round of PetSafe’s Bark For Your Park contest starts noon Wednesday, and you can help Jacksonville win $100,000 for a new dog park.

The Jacksonville Park Foundation, PAWS and others are working to build community support — but this is a community-wide effort and your help is needed for Jacksonville to win. Here’s some things you can do . . .

  • Vote twice a day starting noon Wednesday June 17th. You can bark once on the web at and then again on Facebook at
  • Get friends to like our Jacksonville Bark for Your Park on Facebook and refer friends to our portal website to learn how to vote.
  • If you run a web page or a email list, add contest info to your messaging (see end of post for sample text). Have your club, church or group get the message out.
  • Contact Production Express 217.243.4258 and they can add your logo to a template they have and make cards for you to hand out at your business. Or, go to PetSafe’s web site and get promotional graphics you can use or customize.
  • Add Bark for Your Park info to your advertising. Tell people to go to to learn how to vote.
  • Have your business offer a short-term incentive to get your customers involved (idea borrowed from a winning town). Such as get us to XX,XXX votes by this day, and we’ll donate money to PAWS or do a half-price/free stuff offer. You can contact Steve Warmowski 217.245.4178 or use the contact form at the end of this post to set a target, coordinate and help spread the word.
  • Put up a banner from Lomelino Sign Co. 217.243.2444. They can use an image we sent them, or customize one of the contest templates.

Here’s some sample text . . . PetSafe​ sponsors the Bark for Your Park​ contest because communities with dog parks have fewer dogs abandoned in shelters and fewer dogs euthanized. So help Jacksonville win $100,000 by liking Jacksonville’s contest Facebook page. Info on how to vote at Bark twice a day at 1) PetSafe and again 2) Facebook

By Harry Ford

JACKSONVILLE, ILLINOIS – Local bicyclists are taking to the roads May 20 in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event to honor those injured or killed while bicycling, to raise awareness of bicyclists on the road, and to promote bicycle safety.

Jacksonville’s Ride of Silence will occur simultaneously with thousands of other similar events worldwide on Wednesday, May 20. Bicyclists will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Tribute Garden at Passavant Area Hospital (near north entrance). Following a very short program, which will include a moment of silence, bicyclists will depart from Passavant’s north entrance for an approximate 45-minute ride. Riders will be escorted by the Jacksonville Police Department. Riders must wear a helmet and wear a reflective or bright-colored shirt. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

From the north entrance of Passavant, bicyclists will ride across town to Foreman Grove and back to finish at Passavant’s north entrance. The ride is just over 8 miles.

The Ride of Silence originated in White Rock Lake, Texas, in 2003, and was inspired by the death of endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz.

Passavant not only will be the focal point of this ride — they are also a sponsor of Protect the Melon! The Town Brook Initiative of the Jacksonville Park Foundation works in conjunction with Illinois College psychology students and others to distribute helmets to all fourth graders in Jacksonville-area schools. Protect the Melon! is cosponsored by the Morgan County Medical Society. 

by Harry Ford

Take the League of Illinois Bicyclists interactive bike safety quiz today. Improve your knowledge of the Rules of the Road and techniques for sharing the roadways among all drivers, riders and pedestrians. It is actually much more a learning experience than a quiz. Developed by the LIB Board and membership, the learning quizzes have been approved by Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State.
Illinois Mayor’s Bicycle Safety Challenge. This month, LIB launched the Mayor’s Bicycle Safety Challenge, a new campaign that engages Illinois cities at the local level. We invited 400 Illinois mayors to join the challenge and lead by example in encouraging their residents to take the educational bicyclist or motorist quiz at
Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard issued a proclamation at the city council meeting Monday May 11th 2015 declaring Bike Safety Week. LIB, Morgan Cyclists and all area bicyclists encourage everyone—bicyclists and motorists alike—to join thousands of your fellow Illinoisans by participating in this far-reaching road safety program.

Buster Sanitation Services (PDC Area) provides curb-side recycling under contract with Jacksonville and South Jacksonville. In Jacksonville last year Buster switched to pickups on the 2nd and 4th weekdays, lending to some confusion.

Recycling is easy in the community with single stream recycling. You don’t have to sort this or that, just toss everything into a cardboard box, bag or a reusable tote. Most paper (no waxed cardboard or plastic & sticky labels from junk mail); most plastic (up to number 5 — no #6 styrofoam, and only #7 narrow neck containers); Glass (clear, blue, brown or green – never ceramic mugs/plates or flat/window glass); and metal are recyclable.

Buster now has handy guides on their web page you can download and print. Download a recycling guide, and PDFs of the schedules . . .

South Jacksonville (once a month)


If you have questions contact Buster via web form or call 217.245.7204. Recycling stream heads to Decatur’s Midwest Fiber Recycling.

If you don’t live in the city/village (or if you do, but live in a large building and don’t get curb-side pickup) you can always take your items direct to Buster’s facility at 2263 State Highway 104 during weekdays 5:30 am-5 pm.

New! Morgan Cyclists — Formative Meeting 5:30 pm February 25 at Village Cyclery.

Get fit! Stay fit! Have fun! See the Morgan County countryside and more in the very best way – on two wheels, quietly and with fellow riders. Meet your bike-riding neighbors. Make new friends. Bring your current friends.

  • Weekly rides start in the Spring.
  • Experienced ride leaders.
  • Socializing options after each ride.

Multiple routes of 15 miles and more. Maps and cue sheets for all rides. Everyone welcome. Male & female, experienced & novice. (Adults only. Family rides will be planned and announced periodically.)

Requirements: A bicycle, a helmet, legs, lungs, the will to ride.

That’s Wednesday, February 25 at Village Cyclery in South Jacksonville.

In association with the Jacksonville Park Foundation and Village Cyclery

bicyclists mount up to start ride

Jacksonville cyclists at the 2014 Town Brook Ride.

The Illinois Department of Transportation recently announced three area schools brought home about $333,000 of $5.9 million in Safe Routes to School grants awarded to communities around the state.

  • $158,400 to replace sidewalks to Waverly CUSD #6 campus
  • $62,880 for a footbridge and sidewalks to connect a subdivision and Pittsfield/Pikeland schools
  • $111,029 to Carlinville for sidewalks, traffic control devices, pedestrian crossing improvements and secure bicycle parking facilities.

Jacksonville and School District 117 can take advantage of this grant pool to encourage kids to walk and bike to school (including a path along the Town Brook) as part of the Turner Junior High School renovation.

On Hoagland along the Town Brook to Turner Junior High — the perfect place for a protected bike lane.

On Hoagland along the Town Brook to Turner Junior High — the perfect place for a protected bike lane.

Please familiarize yourself with the Community Health Needs Assessment done by the Morgan County Health Department and Passavant Area Hospital. Part of the study included BMI measurements on local school children which showed . . .

  • 24% of Kindergarten students were overweight or obese
  • 42% of 6th grade students were overweight or obese and
  • 46% of freshmen students were overweight or obese.

Controlling metabolic syndrome is one of the community’s health challenges, increasing physical activity is the prescription, and schools are an important part of making this improvement to community health possible.

When School District 117 starts planning for the rehabilitation of Turner Junior High School, please get active and work to ensure Safe Routes to School (including a path along the Town Brook) are incorporated in the designs.

Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Dave McCollum at last fall's cleanup.

Jacksonville Park Foundation board member Dave McCollum at last fall’s cleanup.

The Town Brook Initiative of the Jacksonville Parks Foundation encourages all to participate in the city’s Town Brook Cleanup 9-11 am Saturday April 12, 2014. The event starts at Foreman Grove (on the city’s east side, off State Street) at the confluence of the Town Brook and Mauvaisterre Creek. The cleanup will focus on the downstream area to the east of MacMurray College.

The event is organized by Alderman Lori Large Oldenettel and the City of Jacksonville’s Special Studies Town Brook Committee. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and everyone must sign a waiver. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants and soled shoes. Everyone is encouraged to wear gloves and bring a litter grabber.

This cleanup is being funded in part by a grant received from a $500 SCALE (Streambank Cleanup And Lakeshore Enhancement) grant from the EPA. A successful cleanup puts the city in line for a future $5,000 grant.

Read past stories about plans for cleanup, and the last cleanup. And check out the site of the future disc golf course.

Prefer to help out with some other things this weekend?

Starhill Forest Spring Work Day

Join Friends of Starhill Forest for a morning of tree planting at the Arboretum Saturday April 12th. Tools and training will be provided. Bring gloves. At noon socialize with Friends at a provided lunch.

This is not only a great opportunity, but having Town Brook supporters with training on the proper way to transplant trees will be a very important skill set. Once the city figures out the plan to manage the city’s Town Brook as a park, all that experience will help in planting trees here in Jacksonville. The Arboretum is a program of Illinois College.

Youth Camp Cleanup

Western Illinois Youth Camp Saturday-Sunday. From 8-noon Saturday, and 1-4 Sunday April 12-13. Come help a local resource on Lake Jacksonville that does lots to connect children and the community to the natural world. Map.


The Audubon Woods Mountain Bikers will have a trail cleanup 1pm Saturday March 22nd. Starting on Woods Lane between Country Club Road & Vandalia on the east end of Lake Mauvaisterre, there will be a much-needed litter cleanup in & around the Emma Mae Leonard Wildlife Sanctuary and Audubon Woods Recreation Trails.

From organizer CJ Bahan: I would like to invite you to join me. If you’re unfamiliar with this area, it is a user-maintained, public space here in Jacksonville open to walkers, runners, birders, cyclists, canoeists, etc. Please bring trash bags, gloves, pick-up sticks, & anything else you may need. This will be a non-sponsored, crowd-sourced event. Please dress for the weather, however if the weather is too bad I will re-schedule. If the ground is too soft & muddy on the trails, we will only do clean-up on the roadsides around the Sanctuary. Please share with your friends, thanks! Follow the Facebook event for updates.

This is a crowd-sourced, independent cleanup. No age restrictions like with the city’s cleanups (this spring’s scheduled for 9-11am April 12th – from Foreman’s Grove upstream to Hardin).

If you’d like to find out how you can make Jacksonville more bicycle friendly, come to the Illinois Bike Summit Tuesday April 15th in Champaign. Meet, network with and learn from bicycle advocates from around the state. Day includes workshops, breakout sessions and bike rides. Registration is only $35, includes trial membership in League of Illinois Bicyclists and lunch. Topics include . . .

  • IDOT’s new Bicycle Transportation Plan, with summary from IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider
  • Plan implementation priorities of the bicycling community from League of Illinois Bicyclists’ Ed Barsotti
  • Local bike advocacy case studies
  • Bicycle-Friendly Universities
  • Trail project successes
  • The Bronze Age of Champaign-Urbana: The Making of Two Bicycle-Friendly Communities
  • Health community/bike advocacy partnership case studies
  • Education and enforcement
  • Mountain biking facilities
  • Enhancing your own bicycling
  • Bike sharing programs
  • Bring your bike for an hour-long, early-morning ride through the Champaign and Urbana Communities and the U of I campus.
  • The very popular “Coffee Talks” of past summits will be held again from 8:30-9:30 am, tentatively including: Producing your First Bike Map, Running a Community Bike Workshop, Bike Counts & What we learned from our first Campus Bike Census, Bike to School Day, and Bike to Work Day events.
  • Post-conference reception tradition will continue, hang out for a bit longer for some refreshments and extended networking time