Illinois park of the month: Kankakee River State Park

Located in Bourbonnais, Kankakee River State Park has a rich history that includes being inhabited by Native Americans, traders and farmers.

Recreational opportunities are available throughout the year.

A main attraction at Kankakee River State Park is the Kankakee River. Enveloping both sides of the Kankakee River, the park has 4,000 acres.

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Illinois artist of the month: Hale EkinciHale Ekinci is a Chicago-based Turkish artist focusing on narrative and intercultural connections. She completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art and Media at Columbia College Chicago and is currently teaching at North Central College.

Her work consists of mixed media, installations, collages and illustrations to touch on social issues, traditions and political unrest. For example, in her installation Let’s Resist she uses photo, video and interactive yarn to “commemorate non-violent resisters and spread their individual stories,” in an attempt to abstractly document the Gezi Park Protests in Istanbul.

Her work provides a platform for people of all kinds to contemplate cultural customs, current issues, transmuted memories, idioms and translations that make up our world.

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Illinois park of the month: Fort Massac State Park

With the leaves changing color, October is a great time to visit Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis.

The park, which is steeped in history dating back centuries, has been preserved since 1908, when it became the Land of Lincoln’s first park.

The unique Fort Massac Encampment attracts approximately 200,000 people and is held for two days each October. At the event, Illinois’ frontier history is re-created by historical actors and skilled craftspeople. People attending can view military camps, see crafts and visit booths with period food and drinks.

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Illinois keeps on winning

 Illinois remains decade-long champion of Mississippi River Tug of War

For the past nine years, Illinois has proven its dominance in at least one offbeat contest: Winners in an epic tug of war competition across the Mississippi River itself.

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Illinois park of the month: Apple River Canyon State Park

Scenic Apple River Canyon State Park is located in the northwest corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County.

Established by the state in 1932, the park has deep ravines, limestone bluffs, springs and streams. Its gorgeous canyon area was formed by the waters of the Apple River.

Hawks, eagles and 47 other varieties of birds can be found at the park along with different kinds of plants and 165 types of flowers.

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