Illinois State Park to get $1.8 million shoreline upgrade

IDNR Investing $1.8 Million to Conserve and Protect Illinois Beach Shoreline

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is moving forward with plans to improve and conserve Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park in Zion. A total of $1.8 million will be used for shoreline stabilization to prevent further erosion of the beach.

“I applaud the governor for recognizing the need for these improvements. This project is vital as part of our efforts to conserve and protect Illinois Beach for many generations to come,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said in a release. “Reopening Illinois Beach to swimming and other recreational activities will generate more tourism and have a positive economic impact on the area.”

Governor Pat Quinn approved the release of $1 million in the Fiscal Year 2011 capital program for the design and construction of a revetment system, which will minimize wave action and prevent further erosion of the beach just south of North Point Marina along Lake Michigan. IDNR will spend an additional $800,000 from its “Mud to Parks” fund to relocate accumulated sand from other parts of the beach in order to replenish sand that previously eroded.

The Capital Development Board manages the construction, repair and renovation of state facilities across Illinois and is currently in the process of selecting a contractor for the Illinois Beach project, which has the potential of creating more than a dozen jobs. Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park is a 4,160-acre park that offers ample opportunities for swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and just appreciating nature.

A campground in the southern unit provides 241 Class A Premium sites with electricity and access to showers and sanitary facilities. Reservations can only be made online at and will only be accepted from May 1 - Sept. 30 every year. Due to the high use of this area on holiday weekends reservations are recommended. Campsites are also available on a first come first serve basis but will fill up early on fridays during the summer season. There are three handicap accessible campsites in the campground near the accessible restrooms and a dump station.