Illinois City Saddle Club President Cathy Bizarri grooms her horse, Herky, this week after an outing at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Illinois City. Her 70-year-old club is hosting its inaugural Wade Maynard Memorial Show on Sunday.

At least once a week, Taylor Ridge resident Cathy Bizarri explores the equestrian trails with her horse, Herky, and her sister, Mary Baker, at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve.

"This is just a jewel," Bizarri said this week, following an outing there. 

She hopes the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District will install water and electrical hookups at the 22 existing sites in the Horse Corral Campground as well as build six new sites there. The project will cost upward of $400,000.

County officials plan to pursue those developments and others, including the installation of two cabins at the forest preserve, by borrowing up to $4.5 million in bonds. A public hearing on the matter will be held Oct. 17. The Forest Preserve Commission then must pass another resolution, approving the bonds, at its meeting on Nov. 21.

In an effort to update its five-year master plan, the district is collecting public input this week regarding its six parks, which span about 2,500 acres. 

County residents interested in supplying feedback may fill out an online survey (www.research.net/r/RICFPDsurvey). Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card.

Written versions of the survey in English and Spanish also are available at the Rock Island Public Library, the County Office Building and Rock Island City Hall. 

Written and online surveys must be submitted by Oct. 13. The process takes about six to eight minutes to complete.


Jack Cullen is a reporter uncovering different sides of life in the Quad-City area.