Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Foundation, Starved Rock Walkers Club and Starved Rock Clean Up Crew, in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, have formed a collaboration and fundraising campaign "For the Love of Starved Rock" to help generate interest and monetary donations to improve park trails and preserve the natural resources for future generations.
The dinner that was set for April 5, 2020 has been postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. A new date will be announced.
Through the For the Love of Starved Rock fundraising efforts, our primary goal is to make necessary repairs to the trail system. By securing donations for infrastructure improvements and providing education to our visitors on the proper use of our natural resources, we will ensure that Starved Rock State Park will be accessible and enjoyed by millions of visitors in the years to come.
Our primary goal is to preserve Starved Rock State Park for generations to come. The overall fundraising goal is to raise $500,000 to be used to rebuild and replace pathways and trails in the park. Our first project is to build an ADA-accessible trail that connects from our overflow parking lot to an overlook deck over French Canyon. The second project is to build a boardwalk for LaSalle Canyon and the third project is rebuilding the bridge into Tonti Canyon.
We have established a fundraising campaign to team up, help out and enjoy Starved Rock State Park. The campaign will kick off on April 5, 2020 with a fundraising dinner at Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center. Monetary donations will be managed by the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation located in Ottawa.
Due to concerns with the Coronavirus pandemic we have decided to postpone our dinner that was set for April 5, 2020. We will announce our new date once it is set. Thank you for your patience during this trying time.
If you would like to be included in our fundraising campaign, please contact Kathy Casstevens at (815) 220-7363 or [email protected].
1. Why doesn’t Starved Rock State Park charge an admission fee?
a. This topic has been brought to the state legislatures but projects still need to be completed and we can't simply sit back and wait for things to happen. We need to move forward to ensure that Starved Rock is being taken care of.
2. What about the money from our taxes and license plate renewal fees?
a. State taxes go to state parks, however, they go to a general fund for all state parks in Illinois and there isn't always enough money to go around to fix all the repairs needed at each state park.
3. Will Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center benefit from this?
a. No, not financially. They benefit by the fact that the people visit the State Park and ultimately visit the Lodge. What many people may not know is that the Lodge is independently operated by a small mom and pop business and doesn't receive tax payer money for operations. In fact, the concessionaires pay a monthly lease payment and maintenance fees as well as regular property, sales and hotel taxes to operate a business in the state park. The concessionaire has committed to donating $10,000 a year for the next three years to help with this initiative because without the state park, there would be no Lodge.
4. Can we see where the money is going?
a. Yes. Starved Rock State Park is a participating member of this committee and all of the funds raised go directly to a 501(c)(3) non-profit: https://srccf.org/. All funds are going directly to these projects and will not be sent to Springfield. Financial reports will come out quarterly and will be made public.