It’s official. Stacey Johnson, 22-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is the new superintendent of Kankakee River State Park.
Earlier, Johnson was named interim park director following the retirement at the end of May of Kathy Pangle after 18 years as park superintendent.
Johnson was natural resources coordinator and youth program leader at the state park for 18 years until her promotion to assistant superintendent four years ago, with responsibility for the Momence Wetlands, Iroquois County State Wildlife Area near Beaverville and Butterfield Trail State Recreation Area near Crescent City, plus pheasant habitat areas near Clifton, Loda and Milks Grove. She said Tuesday no staff member has been added to handle those additional responsibilities.
The state park visitor center reopened earlier this summer with the hiring of youth program director Sharita Harris-Coleman, who will be on staff until the end of November. The center had been closed since August 2015.
Visitor center hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Monday until the end of November.
Johnson’s hours at the park office are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
A graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, Johnson earned a zoology degree at Western Illinois University and a master’s in education at Olivet Nazarene University.
Dove hunting at Kankakee River State Park will begin from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, with the first five days by permit only, but with standby permits possible.
Hunters report at Hunting Area 6, on Illinois Route 113 on the south side of the river. The quota of hunters is 53.
The youth hunt will be Saturday, but standby permits aren’t available.
For the rest of September, hunting hours at the state park are noon to sunset.
Dove hunting also begins at Iroquois County State Wildlife Area north of Beaverville, with hunting sunrise to sunset, with a 47-hunter quota.
The daily limit is 15, possession quota 45.
The 35th annual Kankakee and Iroquois Rivers Cleanup, held by the Northern Illinois Anglers Association, will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 16.
Bags and patches will be provided for each participant, and there will be food and drink at most registration sites. Log on to river cleanup.net for registration sites and other information.
Experienced kayakers are invited to join a “Kayak the Canal”…