CHAMPAIGN – Four area parks will receive a combined $1.5 million to make major renovations and improvements, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

“This investment in our parks is vital because it promotes health, wellness and quality of life to families and older adults,” Bennett said. “I’m pleased to see so many of the parks in our community benefit from this grant.”

The money comes from a grant that is part of the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The program is providing more than $29.7 million in grants to support 85 local park projects across the state.

Parks receiving the grant include: 

  • Champaign PD, Human Kinetics Park Development: $400,000
  • Danville, Historic Ellsworth Park Redevelopment: $373,900
  • Rantoul, Rudzinski Park Redevelopment: $360,000
  • Urbana PD, Crystal Lake Rehabilitation Project: $400,000

census 091120DANVILLE – With the 2020 Census entering the final stages of its count, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) are reminding Vermilion County residents to complete the census for their household. 

“As the census draws to a close, I would encourage folks in Vermilion County to take a few minutes to complete the census so our community receives the resources and representation it deserves,” Bennett said. “Until there’s a 100% response rate, schools, roads, hospitals and other critical community services could be negatively affected. I encourage you to participate in the 2020 Census and get counted before the Sept. 30 deadline.”

Across Vermilion County, participation in the 2020 Census is lower than in the 2010 Census. Only 65.3% of Vermilion County residents have completed their census forms this year, as opposed to 70.2% of residents in 2010.

Marron says he is encouraging residents in the 104th district he represents in East Central Illinois to make sure they are counted, noting communities lose out on funding and representation for every person that does not fill out the census.

"September 30, 2020, is your last day to make sure you are counted in the census. The process is simple and completed online in about 10 minutes total," Marron said. "The census count affects the number of Federal tax dollars that make their way back to our communities. An accurate count also ensures that the residents of East Central Illinois will have adequate representation going forward for the next ten years."

The census is now safer, more secure and just as confidential. Filling out the form is crucial, as data from the 2020 Census will be used to draw new congressional district maps, helps determine how federal funds flow into states and provides information that will affect communities across Illinois for the next 10 years.

“Completing the Census is one of the most fundamental ways our citizens can invest in our community!  It only takes a few minutes to answer nine quick questions, and the return on investment for doing so is amazing,” Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said.  “Remember, not only do we lose approximately $1,400 for every person who doesn't reply, but our congressional representation is directly dependent on folks being accurately counted in our community. Therefore, if you haven't already done so, please complete your census response today!”

Residents can complete the census for their household at or by phone at 844-330-2020.

08.28.2020 Danville Westville Mask Deliveries

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) delivers face masks to Danville School District Superintendent Dr. Alicia Geddis (left) and Westville School District Superintendent Seth Miller (right) in Danville on Aug. 28, 2020.

DANVILLE – As classrooms reopen to students and staff for the fall semester, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) delivered 2,000 face masks to Danville and Westville School Districts.
“Our public health officials agree that masks and face coverings can significantly help reduce the spread of the virus,” Bennett said. “For that reason, schools offering face-to-face instruction are observing new health and safety protocols in the classroom, including wearing a face covering.”

Danville and Westville School Districts both require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, including face coverings. Bennett wanted to ensure they had an adequate supply of masks for students and staff to help support a successful return to school.

“We would like to say thank you for helping us meet the challenges of this pandemic,” Danville School District Superintendent Dr. Alicia Geddis said. “We are humbled by your generosity and support of our students.”

"We are so appreciative for the mask donations," Westville Superintendent Seth Miller said. "It's been a challenge, but our teachers have risen to the occasion and this generous donation will be a tremendous help to our schools."

Bennett secured the masks through his connections with a Taiwanese trade delegation. Bennett established a relationship with the delegation last fall when he hosted them at his family farm to celebrate their commitment to purchase Illinois crops between 2020 and 2021.

“It’s critical that every student and staff member has access to face masks to keep each other safe and healthy during this pandemic,” Bennett said. “I hope this additional supply of masks will equip Danville and Westville School Districts to protect their students and workers.”


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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507