From the Capitol to the Countryside, There's a Lot Going On in Illinois

Posted 06/06/13 by Rhonda Romano in Policy

Photo © www.TrailLink.com

Here at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we got a lot of love for the Prairie State. Illinois is doing some terrific things related to its trails and bike- and walkability, from downtown Chicago to the rural reaches of the southern part of the state.

Did you know that Illinois boasts both the busiest trail in the nation (Chicago Lakefront Bike Path) and possibly America's first rail-trail (Illinois Prairie Path)?

There is a lot going on in Illinois to advance the trails and active transportation movement, and we aim to help continue that terrific work.

The Illinois Department of Transportation recently launched a new initiative to develop a statewide bike plan: www.illinoisbikeplan.com

In May, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 1042, an important bill which will provide liability protection to private landowners when they open their land to trails and recreational uses.

This critical piece of legislation, now awaiting the signature of Governor Pat Quinn, fixes a long-time legal problem that hindered development of recreational lands in Illinois.

The legislature also passed SB 1341, which makes changes to the state grant programs for open space development. The changes make it easier for distressed communities to qualify for grants by requiring only a 10 percent match. This small but significant step is a great, cost-effective way for Illinois to help some its struggling small cities and towns tap into the booming trails tourism economy.

It is only with the support of our more 35,000 supporters in Illinois that we can make the Prairie State one of the best places in America to ride, walk and enjoy the great outdoors through trails.

Thank you for supporting Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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