CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — April 2 marked the official 100 year anniversary of the Canton Park District. Park district leaders are proud of the history of these parks and what they mean to the Central Illinois region.

“For a community our size, we’ve got an excellent park system, we’ve got over 1400 acres, including 9 parks, we draw regionally, from Peoria to Macomb, sometimes even Quincy,” said Jon Johnson, the Executive Director for the Canton Park District.

The park district held a Sycamore tree planting ceremony at Big Creek Park today to honor the milestone. Kevin Stephenson, President of the Canton Park District Board of Commissioners, said that the parks have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years.

“During the pandemic, parks were a place people could go out, they didn’t have to worry about transmitting the virus and I think that led to a resurgence of our parks and made them even better and more useful, and probably more appreciated by the populace,” Stephenson said.

The park district is hopeful for what the future may bring.

“Things change over the years, but it’s amazing how many things are still important, people like going to parks, plain and simple,” Stephenson said.

On April 29, there will be a celebration at Big Creek Park. There will be live music along with arts and crafts.