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Recreational Opportunities Improve Quality of Life and Attract Families to the I-72 Corridor

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July is National Park and Recreation Month. It’s a fine opportunity to highlight the many opportunities for people of all ages to get out and play in Jacksonville and the I-72 Opportunity Corridor. These outdoor activities, amenities and the opportunity to connect with nature is one of the reasons people are choosing to move to the area and grow their career here. For example, Rich Klinker, Operations Manager for CCK Automations, found that he loved the outdoor activities available in Jacksonville after moving to the area from the east coast. “I’m an outdoors guy. The hunting here is world class, and the fishing is great. Katie, my fiancé, and I both enjoy the arts and music as well, which we have on a smaller scale in Jacksonville - including summertime concerts,” said Rich. 

Rich isn’t the only one who values outdoor activities, access to nature and the community events put on by our local parks and recreation departments. In a recent survey by the National Recreation and Park Association, 9 out of 10 survey respondents agreed their community benefits from access to free or low cost fitness and educational opportunities at their local recreation or community center.

Parks and recreation centers bring a great deal of value to our communities. They augment the health, vitality and social fabric of our communities and make them great places to live.

People visit their local parks and recreation centers for a variety of reasons, including exercise, relaxation and entertainment. They provide opportunities to get outside, stay active and socialize with other community members, building a sense of community.

Communities within the I-72 Corridor place a priority on parks and green spaces. We have a range of organized recreational activities for youth and adults alike, from municipal pools to kid-friendly camps and sports leagues. These central locations and activities provide opportunities for residents to relax and to connect with each other. Our parks also become gathering places for new residents to create a sense of community. This includes young professionals like Samantha Dudzinski, an attorney with Rammelkamp Bradney, P.C.  “I really enjoy living in the area. The main reason is because from the first day I moved here, every person I met welcomed me with open arms. I sincerely believe in this community. I moved here for my career, but I have chosen to stay here because of everything Jacksonville has to offer.”

The I-72 Corridor’s Natural Setting and Recreation Also Creates Business Opportunities 

Companies like Harpole’s Heartland Lodge have developed and thrived because of their location within the I-72 Corridor. Abundant access to nature and close proximity to major metropolitan areas like St. Louis and Chicago have made the lodge an idea destination for everything from couples getting away to large corporate retreats. This rural hunting lodge is a destination for over 20,000 people annually. With close proximity to attractions in Illinois and Missouri, the Lodge also serves as a vacation headquarters for those who wish to explore the Midwest and then return to somewhere peaceful and relaxing. 

There are many opportunities for new businesses to start in the I-72 Corridor and benefit from the same natural amenities and location that Harpole’s Heartland Lodge has. These are the type of amenities and adventures that our residents enjoy daily. We invite you to join them by moving to a community within the I-72 Corridor. 

Learn more about Park and Recreation Month by visiting: 



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I 72 Opportunity Corridor 2 South Main Street Winchester, Illinois  62694
Phone 217.243.8765