An effort to create a national park at former town site in western Illinois remains stalled in the US Senate. Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican, is part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers seeking the designation for New Philadelphia.
That site in Pike County marks the first town in the country founded by an African American. Frank McWorter was a freed slave who created the community in 18-36.
Schock says creating a national park would allow more people to know the story of McWorter. He says it work in tandem with Lincoln attractions in Springfield.
Illinois is buying 410 acres of land in Pike County and plans to convert it into public hunting grounds.
Governor Pat Quinn said the acquisition is part of the purchase of four sites across the state.
“Our state does not have vast areas of wilderness like some states in the west. We have pockets of wilderness, pockets of nature. And we have to really work very hard, together, to preserve and expand those pockets,” said Quinn.
The four parcels cost the state $2.8 million dollars. The money comes from the "Illinois Jobs Now" capital construction program.