The Chester Beautification & Tourism Commission was combined into one commission in 2016. See Ordinance. The Commission will meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. (unless otherwise indicated), with the exception of December, in the Chester Municipal Building, 1330 Swanwick Street, Chester, Illinois.
Meeting dates for 2023 are as follows:
January 19 July 20
February 16 August 17
March 16 September 21
April 20 October 19
May 18 November 16
June 15 No December meeting
Members and Officers:
Brenda Owen, President
Dave Randall, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
Mary Ann Heberlie
February 2022 Agenda – cancelled
Projects the Commission has or is working on……….
- The Take Pride Award is to recognize commercial and residential properties that have enhanced the beauty of our community. Recognition is acknowledged by placing a sign in a winner’s yard plus photo of the residence and owners in the Harold Tribune and County Journal newspapers. One or two awards are presented per month April through October. Nominations can be submitted to either of the committee members, the newspapers or telephone 826-2326 ext 229.
- The Anti-Liter Program was started a couple years ago involving a campaign for grade school students striving to make them aware of the problem of litter in Chester on streets, sidewalks, parks and yards. Beautification Commission sponsored a contest for Grades 1-8 to submit a new Anti-Litter logo and slogan. Two hundred sixty-five students entered for three $75.00 prizes; T-shirts with their original artwork were presented to the three winners. Pizza parties were given for two classes with 100% participation in submitting a poster. The three winners have their slogans on posters currently displayed in businesses around town: Don’t Litter be a Home Run Hitter; Throw it Away, Save the Day; and Just Trashcan-it to Save the Planet. There are plans for additional school projects to improve the awareness of keeping Chester beautiful and being proud of our town.
- Beautification Commission was involved in the renovation of the City Steps. Matthew Heberlie finished his Eagle Scout project of refurbishing this historic landmark. The hard work and ideas for improvement are credited to Matthew; it was a monumental project that resulted in a beautiful site. The Beautification Commission oversaw his project providing final approval on design and funding for the material in the stone columns. The Tourism Commission paid for banners and the River Rats donated two benches located at the top entrance. Chester residences and visitors are encouraged to visit the steps; the top and main entrance is located on East Buena Vista near the Randolph County Court House.
- Home grown fruits and vegetables, bakery goods and jams, hand-made items etc. are sold Saturday mornings at the Farmers Market beginning in May and our held on Saturday mornings. The market will be on the parking lot of Hardee’s at the corner of Swanwick St. and W. Holmes St. The public begin arriving at 7:30 AM and continue until goods are sold out which is usually by noon. The market will continue until the last Saturday in September. For additional information including selling at the market, contact Patti Carter at 618-826-1430.
- The Old Rock Bridge is located below a scenic cataract area off Old Rock Bridge Road. The bridge dates back to the mid 1800’s and is beautifully constructed with a triple brick arch and stone walls. The Committee has submitted a request to the Illinois National Historic Preservation Agency to place the bridge on the National Historical Register. Photos of the bridge can be seen at http://bridgehunter.com/il/randolph/rock/
- Eagle Trek eagle watching/tours – at the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam usually held in February.
- Renovation began the summer of 2010 with the objective to create a small museum and a memorial walkway at this historic Old Stone Cottage ca 1850 located on Chestnut St. just south of the Randolph County Courthouse. A small group of devoted volunteers have accomplished much: New guttering, painting, tuck pointing and clearing of many vines and brush. In 2012 a flagstone memorial walk with engraved names was completed.