Illinois Town Considers Moving Campground
The village-owned campground in Rantoul, Ill., could soon be moving to a more scenic, lakeside location.
Village Administrator David Johnston told the Rantoul Village Board on Wednesday (Jan. 2) that Recreation Department Superintendent Rich Thomas is working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on getting money to move the Prairie Pines Campground from its current location adjacent to the Rantoul airport to a new site along Heritage Lake, according to the Urbana/Champaign, Ill., News-Gazette.
The village acquired the 95-lot campground from the Air Force following the closure of Chanute Air Force Base.
The campground, which features handicapped accessible restrooms, showers and laundry facilities, is open year-round.
Over the years, it's served people attending the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships, the World Freefall Convention, the Half Century of Progress and other major events as well as family outings.
But Johnston said the campground site is part of a 150-acre area that the Chanute Redevelopment Commission is interested in making available for major economic development projects.
Prairie Pine's location – not far from runways – may make the campground site and adjacent land ideal for industries or other businesses.
Mayor Neal Williams said he thinks moving Prairie Pines to the Heritage Lake site makes sense.
"Giving Prairie Pines a location by the lake improves the attractiveness of our campgrounds while freeing space for potential good jobs for our residents," he said.