Save Giant City State Park and Other State Parks in Southern Illinois

This petition was delivered to:

Illinois Governor
Illinois State Senate
Illinois State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
State Rep. John Bradley
State Rep. Mike Bost
State Rep. Daniel Beiser
State Rep. Brandon Phelps
State Sen. Gary Forby

Save Giant City State Park and Other State Parks in Southern Illinois

    1. Mickey Johnson
    2. Petition by

      Mickey Johnson

      Carbondale, IL

It has recently come to light, that because of the State of Illinois' financial situation, Giant City State Park is facing closure. According to an article in the Southern Illinoisan newspaper, “Giant City Park will have to close. In the last decade, there has been more than a 60 percent reduction in funding to operate and maintain the park,” said Terri Treacy of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter and Partners for Parks and Wildlife steering committee member.

Additionally, "Park Superintendent Bob Martin, who also oversees Trail of Tears State Park, described the situation as “being in dire straits” in regard to park maintenance and upkeep. Staffing for park positions, such as security officers and site technicians, has been reduced down to the bare minimum. Staff vehicles, including trucks and maintenance tractors, are more than 10 years old. Trucks and jeeps have logged more than 100,000 miles.
Some park facilities, such as shower houses, have shut down because they can’t be maintained. Picnic tables need paint. Fireplaces and many cooking grills have rusted and can’t be replaced because there is no money available.
“Our operations budget is non-existent. There’s not enough money to pay the bills,” Martin told the audience."

This is unacceptable because tourism estimates state that Southern Illinois generates nearly a half-billion dollars per year. Cindy Cain, So. Ill. tourism expert states, "“A majority of our visitors come here for our great outdoors. Our state parks and wildlife areas play a vital role in providing visitors with activities, amenities and services that keep bringing them back time and time again.”

Ideally, this is a petition to create a funding source for the State Parks that is not tied to the general funds of the state. The sole purpose would be to generate a revenue source that would maintain the viability of these great parks.

If a funding source cannot be removed from the general funds, we ask that the state guarantee that there will be an increase in funding to maintain Southern Illinois parks.

We are hereby petitioning Mike Bost, John Bradley, Brandon Phelps, Daniel Beiser, Gary Forby, Governor Pat Quinn, and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon to reconsider this drastic threat to the Southern Illinois economy. It is time that our representatives actually recognize that Southern Illinois generates a sizable portion of the state's economic well-being and our state parks are part of its vitality.

Please consider signing this petition to save our state parks.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 5,000 signatures
    2. Nearly at 3,000! Please continue to pass this message on to everyone

      Mickey Johnson
      Petition Organizer

      I want to thank everyone for the wonderful stories about their experiences at Giant City State Park and surrounding facilities. Public space is becoming a rare commodity these days and will continue, unless we change this mindset from our elected officials. While the state government continues to throw money at issues that have no solutions, this one clearly does. Our state parks provide the space that people need to feel connected to the earth that they walk on. Families spend time together in wholesome ways and they produce memories that cannot be replaced. Our forests are learning tools for students of all ages. Our parks give a sense of pride to the region. Please remind our politicians that these parks are a source of revenue...$500,000,000 annually. Not only do people travel from all over the country to visit, the spend money here in So. Ill. We cannot allow our natural wonders to close based on misguided priorities.

    3. Reached 2,500 signatures
    4. Over 1000 Signatures in Less Than 24 Hours

      Mickey Johnson
      Petition Organizer

      Over 1,000 people in less than 24 hours agree, closure of our state parks would be disastrous for Southern Illinois. We have gained the interests of our local Sierra Club and several local political leaders. Now it is time to increase the amount of signatures to show that people in Southern Illinois will not let this issue rest until we have clear answers and viable alternatives to closure. The austerity measures taken a decade ago have now placed our parks at risk, clearly these measures did not work. People in Southern Illinois have consistently tightened our belts on behalf of other state interests, it is now time for us to act on behalf of what is best for our communities and our economy. Please consider signing this petition and passing it to friends through Facebook, Twitter, or email. The more voices we collect upfront, the easier it will be to move political blockades.

    5. Reached 1,000 signatures
    6. The petition has hit a big marker in just a few hours! Pass it on!

      Mickey Johnson
      Petition Organizer

      Within a few short hours, we have nearly 200 supporters. Please pass this petition on to everyone that you know who loves Southern Illinois' state parks. Our community depends on these areas for recreation and tourism. It would be a tragedy if we lost access to them.

      We will not let this pass without a fight.

    7. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lynne Sullivan KNOXVILLE, TN
      • over 2 years ago

      Southern Illinois's parks are not only beautiful, but are an important part of the economy of the area.

    • Emily Moore INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • over 2 years ago

      We visited Giant City State park and stayed there last fall as part of a Road Scholar trip. We also have relatives in the area, so we'd like to come back and enjoy the park again soon.

    • Richard Zelasko DUBOIS, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      If Quinn wants to save money , him and his staff should stay in Springfield were the Capital is, not Chicago. ( maybe he is lost).

    • Heather Purichia Malin CAMP HILL, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      Giant City and other State Parks were an important park of my time spent in Southern Illinois. I learned to love the outdoors there. Others need the chance to have the experiences I did and develop the respect and love for the outdoors. These parks, particularly Giant City, with it's Lodge and Cabins, are gems and should be fully supported. I've been to many other parks in this country, and I come back to this one every year. It's beautiful, was always well maintained, and unique in so many ways. Its a place I bring my family. Please do not cut support for these parks. They are too important to this area of the state!! Make sure that they are well maintained with the adequate funding they so desperately need!

    • Kevin Furlan ANTIOCH, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      This is one of the most important and beloved parks in Illinois.


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