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Illinois acquires 547 acres of park land for $2.8M

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois officials have purchased 547 acres of wildlife land, including a huge tract in one of the nation's most popular places to hunt deer and the first portion of a new refuge northwest of Chicago.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the acquisitions Wednesday. The $2.8 million purchase uses money set aside for the Democrat's Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program. It will eventually open hunting grounds in Pike County, a state forest in Ogle County, recreation land in Vermilion County and a portion of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in Lake County.

Quinn says the addition of the land will encourage children to get outside and enjoy nature. Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller says additional recreational land also boosts spending on tourism.

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Online: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov

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