Wildlife Prairie Park Awarded Best Place for Family Fun and Best Hidden Gem!
Wildlife Prairie Park has long been identified as a top destination in Illinois and recently was awarded Best of Peoria 2020 “Place for Family Fun” and “Best Hidden Gem” by Peoria Magazines. The Park is consistently recommended one of the top 10 things for families to do in the Peoria area and called the “Jewel of the Midwest” by regional travel magazines.
“Central Illinois is fortunate to have this unique gem in our own backyard,” said Executive Director Roberta English. “We are proud of these designations and work hard to provide unique and educational experiences for all our guests young and old.”
No other park in the entire U.S. is similar to Wildlife Prairie Park. It is a unique 1,800-acre zoological park that is home to over 150 animals and 60 different species native to the Midwest. Since it was established in 1978, Wildlife Prairie Park has operated under three principles of conservation, education, and recreation.
“The Park is known for its animals, but it is more than a zoo,” English said.
Besides the opportunity to experience native animals in their natural habitat, Wildlife Prairie Park also maintains over 25 miles of groomed hiking trails, and several lakes for canoeing and fishing. Guests can also explore, 1800s era pioneer farm equipment, an old one room school house built in early 1900s, and an original preserved log cabin. Wildlife Prairie Park is also home to a professional disc golf course and over 20 miles of groomed mountain biking trails that have been used for circuit racing, as well as a popular pump track for kids to learn and practice trail riding.
New Lodging Introduced This Summer
The Park completed a $2.4 million capital campaign to build 6 brand new cabins designed to give guests a closer view of the bison and elk herds. The Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park Board started the Legacy of the Wild Cabin project to provide a new revenue source for the park to help with operating expenses. The Park is a private nonprofit and does not receive any state funding. The luxurious cabins feature two and four bedroom options, including a four bedroom ADA approved building. These new cabins complement the Park’s existing and unique lodging options such as the Santa Fe Train cabooses, modified grain bin cottages, log cabin, and Prairie Stable rooms. There are also 20 fantastic tent camping sites at the park.
Why is Wildlife Prairie Park important to the community and its residents?
It’s not a stretch to say that Wildlife Prairie Park is needed now more than ever. Research supports the importance of connecting with nature, especially among youth. Studies show health benefits in outdoor activity include stress reduction, increased attention span, reduction of obesity, increased creativity, educational gains, and more. Scores of studies demonstrate that children need nature to be healthier, happier, and smarter. Yet the average time a child spends behind a screen is 6.5 hours per day. Wildlife Prairie Park is well positioned to help youth look away from the screen and see the green.
About Wildlife Prairie Park
Wildlife Prairie Park is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and it’s more dedicated than ever to providing people a unique connection to nature and wildlife.
For more information and updates, please visit our website at www.wildlifeprairiepark.org.