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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Illinois artist of the month: Jessica RosengardChicago native Jessica Rosengard is a photographer who enjoys taking pictures of just about anything that is in her path. Many of Rosengard’s photos are of places in and around Chicago. Her goal is to take a new approach to color, light and contrast in the hopes that people will share the passion and spread the beauty of each unique view.

When not taking pictures, Rosengard stays busy as the owner of a graphic and website design business. She also enjoys utilizing her creativity to work in different art mediums.

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National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversaryThe National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this week, and Illinois is home to five properties that fall under its stewardship.

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield  has been overseen by the National Park Service since 1972. The only home President Abraham Lincoln ever owned was visited by more than 230,000 people in 2015. He and his family lived there from 1844 until 1861 after his election to the presidency.

•    Click here for a list of upcoming events at the Lincoln Home neighborhood to celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial.
One of the newest additions to the National Park Service is the Pullman National Monument in Chicago. Also known as the Pullman Historic District, the area was the nation’s first planned industrial community and was where the Pullman sleeping car for trains was produced. The district became part of the National Park Service in 2015.

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The Honeycomb Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a focus on family volunteering.

As parents, finding time to volunteer can be hard with a busy schedule and wanting to spend time with children.

But what about accomplishing both at once?

Volunteering with children strengthens families as they bond through contributing to the community. The Honeycomb Project in Chicago specializes in doing just this.

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