Parking fees for Starved Rock proposed
State Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris advanced legislation to allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to charge parking fees at Starved Rock State Park, with the proceeds being used exclusively at Starved Rock and another nearby state park.
Rezin said 80 percent of the funds would be used for infrastructure needs and trail upkeep, while 20 percent would go to public safety purposes.
"Starved Rock State Park is a gem," she said, adding the Oglesby park attracted 2.9 million visitors last year, many of them to see the park's large bald eagle population.
The other park included in the program is Matthiessen State Park, also in Ogelsby, which sees about 500,000 visitors annually.
A fee structure is not set in the bill, but Rezin said she envisions something in the $5 range, while the bill would also include an option for visitors to buy a season pass for the location.
Rezin, a Republican, advanced Senate Bill 1310 out of the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee unanimously.