National Park Status Updates

August, 2020:

BIG NEWS PEOPLE! If you've been following our continuing saga to have the Prairie du Rocher/French Colonial District become a National Park, you'll be thrilled to hear that we have achieved yet another BIG step on our journey!

As mentioned previously, Congressman Mike Bost had delivered our request with letters of support to David Bernhardt of the United States Department of the Interior, requesting that a reconnaissance survey be done by the National Park Service. A positive outcome of such a survey is necessary in order to become a National Park.

It has now been announced that this request HAS BEEN GRANTED, and will begin soon! Words cannot express how important and amazing this news is! We are beyond grateful to those who helped make this happen!

The study will take at least until the end of the year to complete, and possibly into the spring of 2021, but if the results are positive, we could literally achieve our dream of becoming a National Park just in time for our 300th birthday in 2022!

***HOWEVER, in order to help ensure receiving the positive results we are after, we need to ask you ALL for your help.

Here's what you can do:

So many of you have replied to our Facebook posts with words of support and thanks as we work towards this goal. These words are so very appreciated! But now, we need you to take those same thoughts and write them down for us as a letter of support. The Park system needs to understand how important this is to our area- not just in Prairie du Rocher, but all the neighboring counties, and even Illinois as a whole to have a National Park located right here in the heart of the United States. Each letter received raises the level of importance up another notch, so we need as many letters as possible stating you are excited about the idea!

It doesn't have to be fancy-- just something on the order of:

"To whom it may concern: I'm writing this letter to express my support of the idea of Prairie du Rocher and the French Colonial District receiving the recognition of becoming a National Park."

Beyond that maybe list a sentence or two about why you feel that way- as many of you have already expressed in your Facebook replies. We of course, have a million reasons why it's a great idea, but maybe write a few of yours in your own letter.

Maybe you want to protect the history of the entire area for future generations. Maybe your family is originally from the area and you want to help preserve and maintain the specific physical properties involved, for people to continue to be able to visit. Maybe you recognize how it could economically benefit other businesses in the area, and surrounding counties, potentially providing new jobs and increased tourism revenue. Maybe you recognize that this status could provide much needed resources to physically protect and maintain the district itself. Or maybe you aren't even from the area, but you just want to be part of a very good thing. The list goes on and on.

Whatever your reasons, just put something on paper or in an email if you would, and send it to the Village Hall in Prairie du Rocher ( or Village Hall Prairie du Rocher, 209 Henry St, Pr du Rocher, IL 62277) as soon as you can. Village Clerk Mandy, will then send copies of our collection of letters to all the powers that be, in order to make sure they know how important this is to all of us.

If you are a married couple, send a separate letter for each of you-- the more pieces of paper the better- every one raises the notch of importance to those who receive them. If you represent a business or organization, send a letter from that group as well (if you have an official letterhead, even better). You don't have to live in Prairie du Rocher to participate, you just have to care about the area-- and I know from the responses I've already seen on Facebook, that you do.

What we are looking for here, is to drive by the Village Hall and look in the window to see nothing but papers from top to bottom, with Mandy's nose and cheek squished up against the glass because it's so full. Can you do that for us? Please also share this news with anyone you can think of who will help us out....

Okay, I think you get the idea-- I'll stop talking, so you can start writing.  Are you in?