Spain passes first bill in House, which allows volunteer work at State Parks

State Rep. Ryan Spain passed his first bill on Wednesday, a bipartisan measure to allow volunteer work to be performed at Illinois State Parks.  

“This is common-sense legislation that allows volunteers to create an Adopt-a-Trail program as well as allow volunteer work at State Parks and trails.  Included in permissible activities are spring cleanups, accessibility projects, special events, trail maintenance, enhancement, or realignment, public information and assistance, or training,” said State Representative Ryan Spain.    

This legislation attempts to resolve a long-standing problem at many State Parks and facilities where volunteers are being told they are not permitted to help keep trails clean and maintained.  Currently, those individuals are able to assist with removal of trash and litter. 

Spain continued, “my intention here is not to take away work historically done by State employees, but rather to allow supplemental efforts to help keep our state natural resources in even better shape for future generations.”  

Spain went on to say, “we should want our citizens to be engaged in our state parks and facilities.  We should want them enjoying these trails and parks with their families and taking personal ownership in seeing them kept in the best shape possible.  This legislation will clarify and allow for better care of our parks and trails.”  

Representative Spain sponsored House Bill 3455, a measure suggested to him by trail riders at Jubilee State Park in rural Brimfield and negotiated with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other stakeholders, and passed the legislation on Wednesday in the Illinois House by a vote of 113-0.  The legislation attracted bipartisan support and co-sponsorship from House legislators throughout Illinois.  Testifying in support of the bill were the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as well as the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois.