An Inside Look at the Parks of Marshall, Illinois
By Joel Sims | September 8th 2019
When is a park more than just a park?
While you may not have given much thought to parks before, rest assured, there is a reason community parks play a critical role in both the current liveability and future of a town. The residents and leaders of Marshall, Illinois, understand the importance of parks, which explains why this small community has nine different parks for their citizens and visitors to enjoy.
A park is not just an area of natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment, recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. While indeed it is all those things and more, parks are mainly a reflection of a community’s history and their values. A community such as Marshall that goes to great lengths to make sure their parks are well maintained, understands that people NEED to have a convenient, safe haven for friends and family to gather while they enjoy the respite that nature offers.
So, whether you are just passing through Marshall for the weekend or considering it as a place to relocate your family or business, take time to appreciate just how enjoyable it is to rest, exercise or simply read a book in a pretty setting and enjoy a purposely developed community asset that exists purely for your enjoyment. As a free community resource, you simply could not spend your time more wisely.
Class of 1958 Park (Located on N. Illinois Route 1)
Since 2009, a triangular-shaped and patriotic-themed park featuring a beautiful gazebo and a picnic table has been enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike. The park was developed by Dennis and Judy Jones in honor of the Marshall High School Class of 1958.
Downtown Park (Located on S. 6th Street one-half block south of Archer Ave)
This park located in Downtown Marshall was once the location of the First National Bank building. The owner of the lot, Richard Bernardoni, sold it to the town and the city’s Garden Club maintains the park. Constructed in 1996, the main purpose of the park’s creation was to remove an eyesore from the downtown area and increase pride in the city. The park now provides an attractive place for visitors and downtown workers to take a break while several community organizations use it for their programs and meetings. The park also provides a beautiful spot for listening to the Friday Night City Band Concert.
Jones Park (Located on S. Illinois Route 1)
The Jones Memorial Park is owned by the city, but thanks to a $25,000 donation in 2000 from Dennis and Judy Jones, the park was with plenty of parking and features a wooden gazebo and picnic area.
Harlow Park (Located on S. 2nd St)
The land for the Harlow Memorial Park was donated by Darrell Harlow in2008 to make a children’s neighborhood park in memory of his wife, Rogene. This park features a swing set, a rock wall, slides, and a playground for children and families to enjoy.
Lion Land Park (Located at the intersection of Ash and 13th Street)
Financial contributions from the Clark County Park District and the Jones Family were combined to create Lion Land Park where visitors can enjoy a playground for children and a gazebo, perfect for picture taking and a picnic.
Power Plant Park (Located on S. 14th St. near the City Power Plant)
Located on land formerly owned by the Bert and Ardith Collier family, the Power Plant Park was developed into a children’s park in 2008 and features a swing set, a rock wall, slides, and a playland for children ages 12 and under
2nd St. Park (Located by the City Pool on N. 2nd St.)
This park has undergone several stages of development over the years. First designed to provide a community pool for the city in 1956,
Almost 40 years later, a basketball court was added in addition to a playground. 2nd Street Park’s most recent addition is a skate park that was built in 2005, making this park of particular interest to both people who have the energy to burn or those who want to relax and watch others burn calories through outdoor recreation.
Lincoln Trail State Park (Located South of Marshall on Illinois Route 1)
Located just two miles south of Marshall, Lincoln Trail State Park is a 1,023-acre Illinois state park located in Clark County that was once occupied by three Native American groups, the Miami, the Kickapoo and the Mascouten. Although the state acquired the first 31 acres of the park in 1936, the park and lake were not officially dedicated until 1958. Named after the trail Abraham Lincoln’s family followed en route to Indiana to Illinois in 1831, visitors enjoy the sights of an American Beech woods; wildflowers, including the unusual squaw-root and beech drops; and recreational activities such as boating, camping, fishing, hiking and winter sports
Mill Creek Park (Located Northwest of Marshall on Clarksville Road)
Located just 7 miles Northwest of Marshall, Mill Creek Park opened in 1982 and consists of 2,600 acres of land, a 139-site campground, a playground, 15 miles of ATV trails, dock facilities, fuel dispensing, and cabin and boat rentals. This county park also has four shelters and three playgrounds and is nestled around 811-acre Mill Creek Lake.