SIU Carbondale and partners release strategic plan for Pyramid State Park

SIU Carbondale and partners release strategic plan for Pyramid State Park
(Source: KFVS)

PERRY COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois State University, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and partners will release a strategic plan for improving Pyramid State Park on Thursday, June 13 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The release of the plan will be given at the Perry County Fairgrounds’ grandstand. At 19,701 acres, the park covers a large portion of southwestern Perry County, including reclaimed surface mines, deep lakes and lush grassland that is home to numerous wildlife and waterfowl.

Pyramid State Park is rapidly becoming a focal point for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the Midwest.

The goal of the plan is to engage constituent groups and individuals who are frequent users of the park, to rally around the common themes to capitalize on the park’s strengths and address its weaknesses.

One of the main threats to the park are invasive species of plans, like autumn olive and shatter cane and how to remove them from the park.

Dr. Kyle Harfst, executive director of SIUC’s Office of Economic and Regional Development, helped lead the planning process at the direction of the late Dr. Carlos Montemagno, chancellor of the Carbondale campus at the time.

Harfst has been getting input from several groups of park users like field trial clubs, waterfowl groups, fishing clubs and others and balancing those conversations with the natural and biological considerations necessary for the park.

“Draft vision and mission statements have been created, in addition to strategic goals and objectives to fulfill those goals,” Harfst said.

Harfst said the June 13 gathering will be a public informational meeting to allow the public to provide comment on the plan, in addition to making further suggestions, either verbally or in writing.

A number of task force members will be available to answer questions at the meeting.

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