OGLESBY, Ill. (HOI) — An Illinois state senator is proposing a bill creating admission fees for the state’s most popular state park.
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) introduced Senate Bill 1310, which would allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to charge annual vehicle admission fees and daily access fees for Starved Rock State Park beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
Under the proposal, visitors could buy a sticker for their vehicle annually, or pay a fee to visit the park. Money would be deposited into a special fund in the state Treasury for Starved Rock State Park’s maintenance.
Rezin told the LaSalle NewsTribune that the fees would be “nominal,” and the park would remain free to local residents if the bill is passed.
For the last several years, Starved Rock has seen an average of more than two million visitors a year. Last year, former Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the state would nearly double the size of Starved Rock and the nearby Matthiessen State Park.