SPRINGFIELD -- A strategic task force has laid out its vision for the future of the World Shooting and Recreation Center (WSRC) and Pyramid State Recreation Area, according to state Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo).
"These reports offer a road map for the future of these two important sites," said Schimpf. "This will help manage and grow these two resources going forward, and make sure that we maximize the potential benefits and economic development that they provide to Southern Illinois."
The task force, made up of state and local leaders, elected officials, and representatives of local businesses, was the result of work by Senator Schimpf, which led to a Memorandum of Understanding between Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Innovation and Economic Development office and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to undertake the studies.
"It has been a privilege for the SIU team to facilitate both task forces," said SIU Chancellor John Dunn. "We have been so impressed with the passion for and dedication to the parks from so many individuals and organizations. Their input is critical to the ongoing success of PSRA and WSRC's facilities, programs, and diverse activities for years to come."
"We're so pleased to accept this report from SIUC," said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. "Many months of hard work, important and in-depth conversations and detailed planning took place between many partners to make this happen and we're excited to put these initiatives in place."
The World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC), located near Sparta, is a 1600 acre world-class shooting and recreational facility that welcomes thousands of people per year.
The strategic plan for the WSRC includes adopting a business strategy for management and operations, creating and diversifying year-round full-time shooting sport opportunities, developing non-shooting recreational interests, providing additional education experiences, and expanding entertainment and event activities.
Pyramid State Park, with a total of 19,701 acres, is the largest state park in Illinois. It was built on reclaimed surface mine land and is popular for a number of activities, including fishing, hunting, sporting dog events, 4-H programs, and re-enactments. The task force report for the park included areas such as identifying and securing sustainable funding sources, managing natural resources, maintaining habitat for field trials, managing outdoor recreational activities, and expanding hunting opportunities and hunting quality.
The planning reports can be viewed at https://econdev.siu.edu/.