Illinois State Parks have been hit hard by budget cuts this year.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced millions of dollars in budget cuts to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the closure of several state parks and historic sites. The governor's office has contended that the cuts were necessary because legislators passed an unbalanced budget and more than $1.4 billion had to be slashed from the state spending plan.

The cuts have been decried by many. When first announced this summer, Susan Donovan of The Nature Conservancy said the cuts would have a devastating impact.

However, some local residents are stepping up to take help maintain state parks in the face of budget cuts.

Volunteers from the
Antioch , McHenry, Richmond-Spring Grove, and Fox Lake-Round Lake Area Rotary Clubs spent Saturday, September 20, 2008 repainting and debugging a restroom, storage building, and concession stand at Chain O' Lakes State Park

Wal-Mart also donated supplies to help the cause.


Granted, the work the volunteers did will not replace state funding. Still, it was good to see the Rotary members stepping up for state parks.


This year, one of the goals of Rotary International is for members to participate in a project that positively affects waterways. Members said helping at the park fit that description perfectly.