There was a time in Illinois when volunteers built the first 19 miles of America's first-ever rail-to-trail project, the Illinois Prairie Path, in just six years out of sweat and callouses and local resources, 20 years before federal trail grants were even born.
We're channeling that legacy to create a voluntary service corps that can build and repair trails anywhere in the state, using the resources Illinois and its communities have on hand.
It's called Illinois Trail Corps, a return to Illinois' do-it-yourself trail building roots.
It leverages the power of a national young adult service corps and the energy of volunteers to build and repair trail in Illinois. Think of it as “Habitat for Humanity” for trails.
Since 2014, we've saved Illinois more than $200,000 rebuilding trails at Lake Shelbyville and Kickapoo State Recreation Area while creating jobs for young adults who are serving their country, and opportunities for volunteers while demonstrating what a service-led model of trail building can do.
Our job right now: Grow Illinois Trail Corps into a statewide program that can build trail at multiple sites every year. Please consider supporting Illinois Trail Corps as a donor or a sponsor!