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I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor

This photograph shows CCC workers employed in ambitious program of transforming the I&M Canal into a recreational parkway destination.

This photograph shows CCC workers employed in ambitious program of transforming the I&M Canal into a recreational parkway destination.

History:
On August 24, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill authorizing the creation of the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor. This new legislation established a nearly 100-mile-long cultural park between Chicago and LaSalle/Peru that became the nation’s first National Heritage Corridor. The notion of linking public and private space along the canal, into a new open space planning and awareness concept was a new and radical way to embrace the history of the canal corridor. The new open space planning idea helps to bring together preservation, conservation, recreation and economic development of the region. While the legislation became law in 1984, the origins of the bridging was a successful mixture of preservation, public use, and industrial activity which can be traced back to the CCC restoration efforts of the 1930s.

Source Credit:
This photograph is part of the Lewis University Canal and Regional History Special Collection.

We Need Your Help:
David Belden is a history teacher at Minooka Community High School and is currently publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing in his Local History classes, including Grundy County, Joliet, Will County, Princeton and I&M Canal. He and his students are currently looking for I&M photos and postcards and Joliet photographs. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, please email him at: dbelden@mchs.net or localhistory@mchs.net call 815-467-2140 x260. To view more postcards and images, visit www.localhistoryproject.org or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/localhistory

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