New Thompson Center Exhibit to Honor Illinois’ Relationship with
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed September 7-13, 2014 as “Illinois Sister Rivers and Lakes Week” to celebrate the importance of the Illinois River and Lake Michigan, and address the shared challenges of waterways throughout the world. The Governor will salute Illinois’ eight “Sister Rivers and Lakes” partners on four continents with a free exhibit, open to the public this week in the James R. Thompson Center Atrium, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago.
“Illinois was defined geographically, historically and economically by the Illinois River, Lake Michigan and other waterways, which are treasures to be preserved and protected for all time,” Governor Quinn said. “Through such innovative solutions as Mud-to-Parks and the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, we are ensuring that these waterways can be used for recreational and commercial purposes, while protecting the many fish, animals and birds that rely on them.”
Governor Quinn has forged relationships with officials representing Brazil’s Capibaribe River, China’s Huangpu River, Ireland’s River Lee, Israel’s Lake Kinneret, Japan’s Saitama Prefecture, Mexico’s Lake Pátzcuaro, Poland’s Vistula River and South Korea’s Han River.
Inspired by the success of the Sister Cities program, Governor Quinn launched “Illinois Sister Rivers and Lakes” in 2007 when, as Lieutenant Governor, he visited Poland and was struck by the beauty of the Vistula River. Since then, Governor Quinn has led trade missions to Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Israel; Mexico City; Recife, Brazil; Saitama, Japan; and Cork, Ireland, and has met with local water authorities in each nation to discuss shared challenges.
The exhibit describes each of the “Sisters,” their historical significance and tourism opportunities. Governor Quinn’s solutions to such common problems as aging dams, obsolete water treatment facilities, invasive species and silt are also detailed. The exhibit documents Illinois’ pioneering role in fostering water technology companies, and how the Governor’s $2 billion Clean Water Initiative is helping local governments modernize their water treatment plants and pipelines, some of which date back to the 19th Century.
On his website www.sisterrivers.Illinois.gov, Governor Quinn invites people across Illinois who are considering a trip abroad to consider visiting one of Illinois’ “Sister Rivers and Lakes.” Tourism opportunities include:
· Enjoying geothermal springs and Marugami Falls in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture.
· Butterfly-watching near Mexico’s Lake Pátzcuaro.
· Long-distance swimming in Israel’s Lake Kinneret.
· Seeing the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain over South Korea’s Han River.
· Bass-fishing on Ireland’s River Lee.
· Viewing Shanghai’s skyline from a ferry on China’s Huangpu River.
· Biking along Brazil’s Capibaribe River.
· Kayaking past ancient castles on Poland’s Vistula River.
Governor Quinn also encourages people across Illinois to roll up their sleeves and volunteer for one of the many waterway clean-ups scheduled this fall:
· September 20 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s Jarvis, Sherwin, Loyola, Hartigan, Pratt, Osterman, Montrose, Belmont, Oak Street, 71st Street, and Rainbow Beaches.
· September 20 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - North Chicago’s Foss Beach.
· September 20 - Somme Woods East, Chicago River, Northbrook.
· September 21 - Illinois River Sweep, Allen Park, Ottawa.
· September 21 - Illinois River Sweep, Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria Heights.
· September 21 - 31st Annual Kankakee Iroquois River Clean-up, Various sites.
· September 21 - Vermilion River Clean-up, Humiston Woods Nature Center, Pontiac.
· September 21 - Sangamon River Clean-up, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, Mahomet.
· September 21 - Fox River, Cornish Park, Algonquin.
· September 27 - Blue Star Memorial Woods, Chicago River, Glenview.
· September 27 - Kickapoo Meadows and Whistler Woods, Lake Calumet, Riverdale.
· October 4 - LaBagh/Hernandez Woods, Chicago River, Chicago’s North Side.
· October 15 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s 12th Street Beach.
· October 24 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s 63rd Street Beach.
The Governor’s proclamation is attached.