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Old 10-31-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default Kankakee River State Park, IL

I was sickened by the condition of this park…. it’s been years since I’ve been down to Bourbonnais and Kankakee River State Park has really gone down the tubes IMO. The entire park is inundated with bush honeysuckles and buckthorn not to mention all the alien grasses. There’s very little regeneration going on that I could see but then that’s what happens when exotics are allowed to get a strong foothold. So sad. When me and hava went in to pick up trail maps…. we were talking to the gal and she said they used to have 47… or maybe it was 48 employees tending to over 3,000 acres but now they’re down to only 7 and I guess 3 of the 7 are in the office. When I asked her why they didn’t start reaching out to the community for volunteers…. she told me they had volunteers but that the unions were too strong and that there’s only so much they could let volunteers do before they’d have trouble on their hands with the unions. There’s no way in the foreseeable future there’s gonna be enough funds to hire back the staff necessary to do much of anything except keep the office open and the grassy areas cut. Volunteers are free. Volunteers have a vested interest in their community and that park is a part of Bourbonnais and Kankakee County. If what that woman in the office said about the unions being at the root of why they can’t tap into more volunteer labor to save this park…. we’ve sunk to a new low. The state of IL has been taking deep cuts everywhere trying to stay afloat and 1 of the 1st to take hits was our DNR…. we’re pretty much bare bones as it is so without volunteers…. we might as well just kiss Kankakee and a few others very special sites ba bye since best guess is that native vegetation is down to 50% with the exotics comprising the other half. When that hits 75% exotic vegetation…. and it’s well on its way to doing that…. we might as well just hand it over to the multinationals so they can milk it for what’s left.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:54 PM   #2
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Here’s a little blurb on the Kankakee River State Park, DNR, “On land treasured for centuries - first by Native Americans, later by traders and farmers, and as early as the 1890s by recreation seekers - Kankakee River State Park offers visitors its proud heritage in an unspoiled setting. Anglers, canoeists, hunters, campers, hikers, bicyclers and other outdoor enthusiasts find the park's recreational opportunities unsurpassed. The naturally channeled Kankakee River, listed on the Federal Clean Streams Register, is the focus of the park's popularity.
Enveloping both sides of the Kankakee River for 11 miles, in an area 6 miles northwest of Kankakee, the park consists of approximately 4,000 acres. Illinois Routes 102 on the north and 113 on the south frame the park, with Interstates 55 and 57 both providing convenient access.”
--
1 thing’s for sure…. that park is anything but “unspoiled” in its present state and if it’s so “treasured”…. somebody in a position capable of affecting change better start asking a really tough question like…. is tip toeing around the unions worth losing such a large chunk of our natural heritage>>>>? Kankakee River State Park was once beautiful and pristine…. it could be again!!!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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The park has good bones to go along with all the history and there's plenty of remnants worth saving there!!!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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The pine forest seemed the least invaded.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000435.jpg
I'm an oak lover...
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000438.jpg
And this aint' no oak sitting out in no mans land.
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000447.jpg
Ahhhhh Now that's more like it!
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000466-poison-oak-.jpg
This is ONE Oak you may want to pass upon....Poison oak!
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000450.jpg
I think it's time to shag my arse outa here!
(Shag-bark hickory)
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000454.jpg
And wallow along the river for a bit...
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000455.jpg
Well not for long....The lack of river stones upstream sends us back uphill and WHAT a hill it was!
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000469.jpg
It was a battle.... Takes big BUCKS to rack up a tree like that!
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000470.jpg
And from little oaks
Kankakee River State Park, IL-p1000463.jpg
A forest doth sprout!
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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You two should become tour operators!
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Naaaa.... I'm sorta getting selfish in my old age.... I go to spend time with folk I know that I'm comfortable with but more so.... to get AWAY from everything... like crowds and kids and pets.... I've done my tour of duty with kids and don't like the way some parents just let them run ripping what ever they like out of the ground!!! I throughly enjoy the quietness of the trails during the off-season and I like being able to flop down and rest anytime I want and I definitely like being able to stop and take photos for as long as I want. I am hoping the photos get more of us out there though because our country really is the most beautiful in the whole world and I'm definitely hoping more of us take photos of and "critique" sites they go to so I can get an idea of what would tickle my fancy for future trips.... that's 1 of the really nice things about you and some of the other folk with cameras who get out and about.... you go to these places and you post your photos and your thoughts.... I'm totally a photo whore... I LOVE seeing things through other people's eyes and I like looking back at all the photos of the native plant communities!!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Kankakee River State Park revisited....
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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I took a kid back to college yesterday and it was on the way so we took a little pit stop and crawled around the rocks for a while. It looks a lot different at this time of year without its cloak of color.
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