Lt. Gov. Simon’s Visit – 1969

During the 10 years that Friends worked to save Thorn Creek Woods and get it established as a nature preserve, Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon toured the area, with members of the public, in September 1969, to gain first-hand information and assess the area’s qualifications. In those days Friends was called the Thorn Creek Preservation Association (TCPA).

From the Park Forest Star Newspaper – September 18, 1969, Park Forest, Illinois —
Simon Said To Support Woods

“I’m behind you a thousand per cent,” Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon told members of the Thorn Creek Preservation association Sunday, according to an association spokesman. Simon toured the Thorn Creek woods Sunday, an area the association is attempting to keep free from home and apartment development. The tour, on which Simon was accompanied by about 150 persons, was “a great experience,” in the words of the lieutenant governor, the association said. “What a wonderful place for little boys . . . and little girls, too,” he was quoted as saying. Simon reportedly said he would do all that he could to help the association preserve the area, adding, “The state’s first goal in open space preservation is to provide open areas around urban sections of the state. Thorn Creek woods fits perfectly into this concept.” The association said that Simon also pointed out that Illinois ranks 47th among the states in the amount of forest preserve per person, saying “we have a long way to go” and praising the conservation-minded people who showed up Sunday to show their support.

The walk in the woods started from the home of Marvin Harr, association chairman, on Stuenkel road near the Urban Hills golf course. The group entered the woods on Monee road and wound from two to three miles through trees, heavy underbrush and open grassy areas. The group, which included leaders from the area in the fields of politics, conservation and education, was treated to a reception at the end of the walk at the home of the Plugene Sullivans on Oak Hill drive.

A dinner in Simon’s honor was then served at the home of the Emory Harrs on Monee road. LEWIS MANILOW, head of Park Forest South Developers, Inc., which has construction plans for the woods, could not attend, but was represented by attorney Kalman Rowen. Rowen briefly outlined the company’s plans for Simon while on the walk and Simon said he would he interested in seeing them.

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