Ferne Clyffe State Park Southern Illinois boasts dozens of unique state parks and recreational areas, including the scenic Ferne Clyffe State Park, which covers 2,430 acres in the heart of the Shawnee Hills.

Impressive rock formations can be seen from almost all of the park trails, but two of the best-known sights are Hawks' Cave, a 150-foot-long shelter bluff, and a 100-foot-tall intermittent waterfall on the Big Rocky Hollow Trail.

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dog 3438453 960 720Cats and dogs are very loving animals. Sometimes, they need a home to spread that love. Dog Patch helps animals find loving homes. The organization has been in Naperville for over 25 years. Despite their name, Dog Patch also takes care of cats.

Dog Patch originally started with puppies and kittens from breeders they considered reputable. However, they grew to believe the industry was not taking proper care of animals. As a result, they made the switch to taking care of rescue animals. They work with Puppy Rescue 911 in order to get pets out of poor situations and into the arms of loving families.

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Small Business Saturday What better way to kick off the holiday shopping season than by shopping at local businesses in your community?

Small Business Saturday has been observed on the Saturday following Thanksgiving since 2010, as a community-minded counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was first promoted by American Express and quickly gained momentum nationally, with the U.S. Senate passing a resolution in 2011 in support of the day.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 88 million consumers shopped local on Small Business Saturday in 2019. Of those, 66% said that they chose to shop small because they wanted to help contribute to their local communities.

Supporting small businesses is more important than ever this year—help keep your community moving by looking local first when shopping for gifts. If money is tight, you can still lend a hand to independent business owners by leaving a positive review online, referring a friend, or engaging with your favorite businesses on social media.

Not sure where to start? Check out Enjoy Illinois’ list of the local shops, artisans, breweries and restaurants our state has to offer.

japan 360422 960 720The people of Bloomington are in for a treat, courtesy of the confectionery company Ferrero North America. The company announced plans to spend $75 million in order to expand their factory in Bloomington by 70,000 square feet.

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Kaskaskia Regional Port District The Kaskaskia Regional Port District in Red Bud was recently featured on an episode of “World’s Greatest TV Show,” a national television show that spotlights interesting people, places and companies. Ranking as the tenth largest inland port in the country with annual tonnage exceeding 1.5 million tons on the Kaskaskia River, the port district has been a fixture of Red Bud for more than half a century.

The port district features five terminals, with each terminal location having unique capabilities such as river, road and rail access. The port district is home to multiple tenants with operations related to agriculture, steel, scrubber stone and more.

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