AmeriCorps Crew Working On Kickapoo Trails
You may have heard that Illinois is without a budget for the fiscal year that started on July 1. State parks remain open, for now, but their future is uncertain without a new budget. However, a project at Kickapoo State Park in Vermillion County will continue through early August no matter what happens, or doesn't happen, in Springfield.
The AmeriCorps Oak 5 team is working to improve trails at Kickapoo this month. The project was requested by Trails for Illinois, a non-profit group based in Homewood that works to improve and expand walking and biking trails throughout the state.
Oak 5 arrived at Kickapoo last week, and after a short training session, began work on alleviating some muddy spots on the Clear Lake, and Out and Back trails.
"So, they wanted to close off that (part of the) trail," said Tyler Wroblewski, member of the Oak 5 team. "make it look like it wasn't even there, and entirely loop it around."
The crew uses a variety of tools to move these low spots farther up the slope, which allows for better drainage and fewer muddy spots. In flatter parts of the trail, where there is no slope, they bring in gravel.
In all, they will improve eleven miles of trails at Kickapoo. Steve French is a trail crew leader with Trails for Illinois.
"We're trying to get Illinois caught up compared to some of the other states who have excellent trail programs," French said. "We're getting there. It's a long, slow process."
It's also hard work, but Oak 5 team leader Tony Moore says that's part of the appeal.
"I think the underlying thing that makes people successful is that grit, desire, and that perseverance," Moore said.
The public is invited to volunteer for two days during the project, July 19 and August 2.