The Canton Park District manages nearly 1,400 acres of open space to enhance the quality of life within our community. Organized in 1923, the District has seen steady growth in both land holdings and facility use. The Canton Park District boundaries are the same as those of Canton Township and serve a base population of 17,000 individuals. The District offers many unique and varied recreational opportunities to satisfy the leisure needs of its constituents.
Wallace Park is the operational hub of the Canton Park District and houses the administrative offices and maintenance facilities. The Donaldson Community Center was recently improved to allow for all public activities to be held on the first floor. The park itself offers many recreational activities; two that stand out are the one-half mile hiking trail and the accessible playground.
Big Creek Park was the first property purchased for park development in 1926. A scenic drive follows the gently rolling terrain in contrast to the adjacent urban thoroughfares. In addition to its beauty, the park also features lighted tennis courts, skate park, Frisbee golf, picnic shelter, and a bocce ball court.
Athletic Park is home to the many sponsored baseball and softball programs offered in Canton. Thousands of young boys and girls have been introduced to team sports in the summer ball programs offered by the District. These are family and community supported programs with volunteer coaches teaching the skills and sportsmanship that will last a lifetime. The basic philosophy governing the youth programs is that everyone plays and has fun. Ball teams from Canton High School and Spoon River College also use the diamonds at Athletic Park.
Lakeland Park is an example of positive cooperation between local, state and federal agencies and the private sector. Officially opened to the public in 1981, the park is a showcase of the recreational potential of reclaimed coal strip-mined lands. Fulton County is very rich in history as a major coal mining area and Lakeland Park will always stand to remind future generations of that era. The Consolidated Coal Company donated the nearly 450 acres of land and water to the District and the park was developed by state and federal grants. The park contains over five miles of hiking trails, picnic shelters, fishing opportunities, scuba diving, and natural areas.
Ingersoll Airport is named after the late William P. Ingersoll, who was fascinated with aviation and truly cared about his local community. His legacy can be witnessed throughout the area by his ongoing financial support of many varied service organizations. Ingersoll Airport is a general aviation airport that has two paved runways of 3,300 feet and 3,900 feet. The airport has been a valuable asset to the economic development of the area by providing an important transportation link to other regions. It is one of only a handful of airports in the state of Illinois that is owned by a Park District.
The Canton Park District encourages the use of its many parks, facilities and programs. For further information, please contact the Park Office or any of the special facilities: Park District Office, 647-1345; Lakeland Park (seasonal), 647-4702; Athletic Softball Diamond (seasonal), 647-0560; Ingersoll Airport, 649-1961.
Canton also boasts an ultra-modern YMCA featuring recreational programs for the entire family. Activities range from tumbling, swimming, basketball, weightlifting, and tennis to racketball, soccer and football. The YMCA also offers various other services such as preschool and after school childcare.
The Canton YWCA offers various recreational activities along with numerous social programs. The recreational opportunities include Tai Chi, dance (jazz, tap and ballet), karate, and aerobics, as well as Brownie and Girl Scout troops.
Numerous other organizations in the city sponsor various Girl and Boy Scout troops for the children of our community.
Canton offers virtually all types of recreation to its citizens through various other clubs and organizations.
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