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Forest Preserve District Parking & the Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Special to

I commend the Forest Preserve Districtís policy to protect and preserve our open lands by restricting parking to designated lots and paved areas.

I would like to thank Ralph Frese and Don Mueggenborg, Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon organizers, and the Forest Preserve District for diligently working to resolve logistical issues that arose over the Districtís new parking policy. I, and all the Marathon participants, appreciate the time Ralph, Don, and the FPD have committed to planning and preparing for the anticipated traffic and parking. Below, I have posted the latest Marathon Update from Ralph Frese.

The Canoe Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, May 23, 2004. For more information and the latest weather and safety reports, please visit the Marathonís official website at

I wish everyone a fun and safe day as they participate in the 47th Annual Des Plaines River Marathon!

Marathon update!

From Ralph Frese

Don Mueggenborg and I met with Cook County Forest Preserve District volunteer co-coordinator Bill Koenig and the head of the district's police force to work out a solution to the finish line problems Weds. morning. The Forest Preserve District is doing all in their power to assist us in minimizing problems. Here is the plan devised to make watercraft pickup run as smoothly as possible.

The Forest Preserve District is committed to try and preserve what is left of our natural environment, therefore the ban on parking on grassy areas. Therefore, police will be stationed on River Road to direct and control traffic to insure the safety of both marathon participants and other passing traffic.

A printed handout will be given to all participants with directions to nearby parking areas and the Forest Preserve District will furnish shuttle service to and from these areas. For those who left their vehicles at the starting line in Libertyville, the Marathon's shuttle bus will take drivers back up river to their cars.

Paddlers are asked to carry their watercraft to the Dam#2 parking area after finishing the race so they can be quickly loaded there once the vehicle is brought in. After the boats are loaded, you are invited to again park nearby and take the shuttle back to Dam #2 to picnic, attend the awards presentation and socialize. It is imperative that pickups are done quickly and efficiently so others are not held up too long for a spot in the parking lot.The Forest Preserve District is doing their best to make this event run as smoothly as possible and we appreciate the work and suggestions their staff have provided.

At this writing, the river is over it's banks in places and the dams
are submerged. You probably will be asked to wear you PFD and it is
advisable to keep to the center of the river and avoid strainers, those
submerged trees that filter out unwary paddlers. Play it safe and have

Ralph Frese

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