LENA – State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) joined with local and state officials Oct. 7 to celebrate the reopening of a popular state park in northwestern Illinois after $7.3 million in rehabilitation and renovation projects were completed.
Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park had closed for these upgrades in January 2020.
The 45th District Senator joined officials from the Greater Freeport Partnership and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), community leaders and area residents at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park, located three miles north of Lena on Lake Road.
“Lake Le-Aqua-Na is a much beloved park that has played an important role in so many people’s stories in northwestern Illinois throughout the years,” Stewart said. “It is a place for outdoor recreation and exercise, it has served as a backdrop for many family celebrations, and is a great place to hang out with friends,” Stewart said. “This major project will improve the quality of life for our residents.”
The ceremony featured remarks by IDNR Director Colleen Callahan, Site Supervisor Jamie Dowdall, and Stewart.
A $3.9 million investment in Illinois Department of Transportation park and road funds were used for the reconstruction and realignment of the park road system, campsite renovations, and draining, repair and restoration of the 40-acre Lake Le-Aqua-Na.
An additional $3.4 million in lake rehabilitation was funded by the Illinois Capital Development Board for draining the lake, repairs to stop water loss from the lake basin, reconstruction of boat ramps, new shore fishing jetties, installation of island and aeration system, and improved fish habitat in the lake.
Started in 1948, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park is a 715-acre park with grounds that feature multi-use trails, equestrian trails, RV and tent camp sites, and other recreational opportunities. The Park reopened to visitors on Sept. 1; however, due to lack of rain in recent months, the lake remains closed to visitors until its water level is restored.