Illinois owned parks as a group are falling into disrepair, and the state is in no position to help as things stand now. A plan to charge park patrons to enter a state owned park has made it through the House and awaits action in the Senate. How to adequately fund the park system was the topic of discussion at a meeting Monday at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton.
The event was attended by local members of the General Assembly, environmental organizations, and Brett Stawar, President of the Alton Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Other methods of increasing the money available to the parks include establishing new fees on the coal, oil, gas, and aggregate extraction industries that the Department of Natural Resources regulates. In recent years, the Department has been relying more heavily on hunting and fishing licenses for funding.