Mud-to-Parks aims to turn Illinois River sediment into a new park on Lake Michigan.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced a program called Mud-to-Parks that seeks to use soil dredged from the Illinois River to build a new park on Lake Michigan.
Under the program, 60 barge loads of sediment dredged from the Illinois River in East Peoria, Ill., are being shipped to the idled U.S. Steel Chicago South Works site to provide 90,000 tons of soil for green space and community recreational use along the shoreline.
“Mud-to-Parks is helping Mother Nature return the soil to the land, while boosting recreational opportunities and habitat,” Governor Quinn said in a statement. “Some of the richest soil on the continent, which is currently in Peoria Lake, originally came from the watershed. We’ve taken sediment that was clogging the Illinois River here in central Illinois and put it to good use for a park along the Lake Michigan shore.”
The 2012 Mud-to-Parks project follows shipments of 114,000 tons of Illinois River mud that covered 25 acres at the South Works site in 2004 and 2007.
“Mud-to-Parks is a true green initiative. Removing sediment from the Illinois River opens shipping lanes, protects and creates jobs, enhances habitat and improves recreational access. Recycling that material and using it for open space projects has the same benefits at the arrival destination,” says Marc Miller, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which administers Mud-to-Parks.