M A G A Z I N E
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WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
POPULATION Decatur Forsyth Mt. Zion Decatur MSA
76,199 3,007 5,232 109,615
LOCATION Located at the junction of Interstate 72 and Route 51, Decatur offers convenient access to major metropolitan areas and other Central Illinois communities within easy driving distance.
HEALTH FACILITIES Hospitals Total Beds Medical Personnel
CLIMATE Average Temperature
Average Annual Precipitation DRIVE TIME Average commute time in Decatur is 15 minutes. Distance from Decatur in miles Bloomington-Normal Champaign-Urbana Springfield Chicago Indianapolis St. Louis Kansas City COMMUNITY FACILITIES Art Galleries Churches Museums Performance Venues Nature Areas Public Parks Bike Trail Dog Park Golf Courses Public Swimming Pool Zoo Tennis Courts Bowling Facilities Skateboarding Ice Skating Football/Soccer Fields Ball Diamonds Lighted Ball Diamonds Sports Complex Water Access
45 42 36 179 165 120 344
8 200 6 8 8 49 – 2,000 acres 3 2 3 public/3 private 1 1 33 public/3 private 2 1 skate park 1 indoor rink 18 28 20 3 outdoor/1 indoor Lake Decatur Sangamon River Lake Shelbyville Clinton Lake
Decatur Memorial Hospital St. Mary's Hospital 634 Doctors – 548 Dentists – 73
Winter 31.17 F Summer 74.67 F Rainfall 37 inches Snowfall 23 inches
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WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
The community shares a vested interest in this vital and historic resource, and plans for continued development include a proposed $35 million lake enhancement project that includes a rejuvenated new lakefront with retailers, restaurants, amphitheater and condominiums. The first phase, completed in summer 2011, includes a dog park, adventure trail, disk golf and other fitness amenities in Nelson Park. The Beach House promenade and new marina on the lakefront are complete, and the new mini-golf complex opened in fall 2014. Great Outdoors Decatur presents a panorama of “green space:” Over 5,000 acres fit for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, sledding, golfing, horseback riding, camping, birding, picnicking — or simply relaxing. And with two dog parks, there's even ample play space for man's best friend! Six community and 30 neighborhood parks — a total of 2,000 green acres — comprise the Decatur Park District's outdoor recreation system. Friendly neighborhood “pocket parks” sport sandboxes and swings, while longtime favorites like Fairview Park, where nostalgia is among nature's gifts, have charmed residents for decades. Restored to its 1950's glory, Fairview's Dreamland Lake transports many Decaturites to summer days spent fishing with Grandpa and feeding the ducks or winter afternoons ice-skating with a sweetheart. New memories are made here every day, too, as the “rolls” from Fairview's most recent addition — a Skate Park built to spec for local skateboarders with banked wedges, pipes and ramps — and the shouts of wintertime sledders on Cannonball hill attest. Sixteen miles of trail way connect nature's landscapes and beckon outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Park paths follow terrain ranging from abundant woodlands and rolling meadows to unspoiled prairie and lush greenways bordering the Sangamon River and Stevens Creek. A ten-foot wide, handicapped accessible bikeway spans 3.2 miles and connects Fairview and Kiwanis parks and the Rock Springs nature area. A new bikeway extension was completed in the fall that extends north from the Fairview Park trail and will eventually connect to Forsyth. Protecting nature's bounty is a priority for our community as well, and much of its guardianship lies with the Macon County Conservation District, whose mission to acquire, maintain, and restore natural areas and cultural sites embraces 3,200 acres of nature, wildlife, and outdoor recreation. Five tracts — each with unique geography, habitat, history, and recreational opportunities — fall under the District's auspices including Rock Spring Nature Center, and Friends Creek, Sand Creek, Fort Daniel and Griswold Conservation Areas. Sporting Life Complementing this relatively spontaneous side of the great outdoors is the community's invigorating array of organized athletic activities — a range well suited to participants or spectators. In addition to one of the nation's premiere park systems, the Decatur Park District also manages 58 baseball diamonds, dozens of tennis and basketball courts, fourteen soccer fields, and three golf courses. The District's family aquatic center in Fairview Park is the hub of summer programming, as well as a great place to cool off with splash pads and zero-grade beach-type entry. Decatur's complexes and sports facilities host competitive events ranging from swim, hockey, and gymnastics, to cheerleading, cross country, soccer, and martial arts.
Golf Rated 18th in the nation by Golf Digest Magazine for accessibility and affordability, Decatur is right on par with three award-winning public golf courses. Scovill, a Tom Bendelow original and one of two Audubon-sanctioned courses in the city, is known to locals as the “shot-maker's” course. The flat, wide fairways of Hickory Point Golf Course, situated on Decatur's north side, challenge both beginner and experienced golfers. Designed by Roger Packard, Hickory Point features a lighted driving range and a special, six-hole short course. The newest star in our golf galaxy is Red Tail Run, designed by the legendary Raymond Floyd. With large, undulating greens, wide rolling fairways, and native prairie grasses and plants, and serving as Decatur's other Audubon-sanctioned golf course, Red Tail Run is in synch with the environment — and with enthusiastic golfers. Two private clubs in Decatur, the Country Club of Decatur and South Side Country Club, offer championship golf for members on their manicured 18-hole courses managed by PGA professionals. Play Ball With five lighted softball/baseball diamonds and four illuminated volleyball courts, Rotary Park, the city's premier sports complex, sees its fair share of competitors, too. Ideal for large tournaments, Rotary Park hosts teams from throughout the region and state, as well as just for fun leagues for locals during the summer. Take it indoors Take a look at recreation from the inside out, and you'll find spaces as expansive as our great outdoors. Decatur's Civic Center, host to meetings and expositions by day, gets “cool” on evenings and weekends, when families and friends take to its indoor ice arena. The rink also is headquarters for the Decatur Flames, a competitive hockey league comprised of more than 200 area youth ages four through high school, and part of the Decatur Youth Hockey Association. With 87,000 square feet of space, the Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC) has indoor recreation covered under one impressive roof — from two gymnasiums, a four-lane competitive grade track, dance studios, and batting/pitching cages to a climbing wall, indoor golf center and weight room. On the city's north side is the recently expanded Greater Decatur YMCA, with racquetball courts, indoor swimming, Wellness Center, personalized training programs, a wide array of fitness classes, and on-site childcare.
College and Prep Sports Spectators find action, too, with Decatur-area teams providing plenty to watch. At the college level, we cheer on the Big Blue of Millikin University, whose men's and women's teams compete in football, basketball, baseball, softball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling as part of the CCIW (College Conference of Illinois-Wisconsin.) Cheers echoed throughout our city in 2006, when the Millikin University Women's Basketball team snagged the NCAA Division II National Championship. And whether it's decades-old high school bragging rights between the Eisenhower Panthers and the MacArthur Generals, or the 2006 Illinois High School Association Class 2A Football State Champion Maroa-Forsyth Trojans versus St. Teresa's Bulldogs, bleachers are packed and loyalties run deep. More Places to Play Take a walk on the wild side at Scovill Zoo, home to wild and domestic animals from around the world. The Z.O. & O. Express Train winds through the 15-acre site and no visit is complete without a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel. The Zoo hosts special family events (like Boo at the Zoo in October) and educational programs at the Shilling Environmental Center year round. Annual family memberships are available.
Another long-time favorite, the Children's Museum of Illinois, bills itself as a place where “children play to learn, and adults learn to play.” Ranked among the top 25 children's museums in the country by Child magazine, the facility spans two floors of interactive exhibits and 10,000 square feet of exhibit space. Where else can you dare yourself to ascend “Luckey's Climber,” or make a life-size bubble? Situated throughout the Museum, interactive stations encourage youngsters to be whoever they imagine — pilot, builder, banker, or scientist. Ten permanent exhibits complement traveling exhibits and special projects. Windows to other worlds also open at Rock Springs Nature Center, a 1,350-acre site situated in the midst of Rock Springs Conservation Area. The Children's Awareness Room acquaints youngsters with residents of prairie, forest, and aquatic environments, and encourages them to “spy” on new friends through the Room's expansive window. Interpretive staff members are always on hand to help translate local critter dialogue. At Overlook Adventure Park, you’ll find a new 18-hole miniature golf complex designed for all skill levels, along with Cherry Berry frozen yogurt and Ted’s Taters food establishments. Opened by the Decatur Park District in Fall 2014, the complex is part of the ongoing lakefront redevelopment project.
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Downtown Decatur (see inset above) Fairview Park Plaza South Shores Center Oakwood Brettwood Village Mound Plaza Hickory Point Mall
23 1. Decatur Conference Center & Hotel 2. America’s Best Value Inn 3. Homewood Suites 4. Fairfield Inn 5. Hampton Inn 6. Quality Inn 7. Residence Inn 8. Country Inn & Suites 9. Baymont Inn 10. Ramada Limited 11. Welcome Hotel & Suites
12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.
Holiday Inn Sleep Inn Tri-Manor Motel Sandy’s Motel Decatur Inn Country Hearth Inn Younker House B & B Intown Motel Soy City Motel Lakeview Motel Hawthorn Suites Hampton Inn & Suites
Progress City, USA Richland Community College / Shilling Macon County History Museum Children’s Museum of Illinois Scovill Zoo Hieronymus Mueller Museum Mari Mann Herb Farm Rock Springs Conservation Area Millikin University / Kirkland James Millikin Homestead Gallery 510 Madden Arts Center Macon County Fairgrounds African American Cultural Museum Oglesby Mansion Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum Staley Museum
WELCOME TO DECATUR 2017
February 10 - 12 Central Illinois Jazz Festival
September 4 Labor Day POPS on the Lake
November 18 Lights of Christmas Parade
Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4191 W. US Route 36. Multiple venues under one roof with four sessions. For session times, package pricing and individual session tickets, and list of musicians, go to juvaejazz.com
Nelson Park Amphitheater Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra performs their annual end of the summer concert on the shores of Lake Decatur. Bring your blanket or lawn chair. Boats anchor offshore. 6:00 pm. Free. 424-6318.
Downtown Decatur, parade route. The 7th Annual Decatur Jaycees Lighted Christmas Parade celebrating Santa's arrival and move to his Central Park home, 5:30pm parade, 7pm Santa in the park, free, 413-0990.
April 27 Corks and Forks Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, 4191 W. US Route 36. Premier charity event featuring wine and imported beer tastings, fine food samplings from 26 local restaurants and caterers, limited tickets for VIP wine pairing dinner before event, dinner 5pm, event 6:30-9:30pm, $, 423-3189.
July 4 Independence Day Celebration Nelson Park, 2301 E. Lakeshore Dr. Decatur Park District Independence Day celebration on the lakefront with fireworks display at dusk, free, 4225911.
August 4 - 6 Decatur Celebration Downtown Decatur, 22 blocks. Illinois' largest free family street festival featuring 10 show stages with national headliners, carnival, 3 blocks of arts and crafts vendors, more than 60 unique food items, Razzle-Dazzle Good Times Parade Sa 10am. F 511pm, Sa 11am-11pm, Su 11am-9:30pm, free admission, $ for wristbands required to purchase food and beverages, 423-4222. decaturcelebration.com
September 15 - 17 Arts in Central Park Central Park, Downtown Decatur. Art festival featuring the works of over 100 artists, live music, special activities for all ages, sponsored by Decatur Area Arts Council and Gallery 510, $ for food and beverage, Friday night Preview Party with musical entertainment, F 5-7pm, Sa 10am-5pm, Su 10am-4pm, free admission, 423-3189.
September 17 28th Annual Shoreline Classic Nelson Park. Premier road race draws thousands of runners and spectators from across the Midwest. The 5K and 15K races are run along the shores of beautiful Lake Decatur in a colorful fall setting. For more information go to ShorelineClassic.com.
November 24 - 25 Heritage & Holly Home Tour Decatur's Near West Historic District, addresses TBA. Annual home tour highlights Decatur's historic homes festively decorated for the holidays, proceeds benefit the Near Westside Restoration and Preservation Society's (NWRAPS) programs, refreshments and entertainment, F 4-8pm, Sa 12-6pm, $, 422-9654.
December 2 - 3 Vespers Kirkland Fine Arts Center Cherished annual tradition brings the sounds of 300 Millikin University students together in song as they present â€œevening prayersâ€? to adoring audiences. 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. both days. For tickets call 424-6318.
December 6 Downtown Christmas Walk Downtown Decatur. Horse-drawn carriage rides, music and carolers, delicious goodies, and Santa Claus in Central Park, extended retail hours and art galleries open, 4:30-8pm, free, 423-3475 and 422-1509.
For details on other events in the greater Decatur area, go to www.decaturmagazine.com and click on the Events Calendar.
The history of St. Teresa High School — known to locals as “St. T.” — stretches over a century to 1866. What was once strictly a girls' boarding school now has a co-ed enrollment of over 370 students that draws largely from three local Catholic schools. In 2000, the Lutheran School Association expanded its facilities to include a high school. And, under one roof at Decatur Christian School are about 300 K-12 students, an enrollment which represents about 80 area churches. With three dedicated homeschooling organizations — Decatur Area Homeschool Network, Greenhouse, and Greater Decatur Area Catholic Home Schoolers — it's estimated about 450 children from 150 to 200 families in our community are home educated. Besides an active co-op teaching math, drama, art, Spanish, music, science, and sign language, many local organizations such as the YMCA, Decatur Area Arts Council, and Rock Springs Nature Center provide programs specifically designed for home educated students. A Rich Environment Decatur is surrounded by higher learning opportunities. Over 76,000 students are served each year by Richland Community College (RCC), located amid some of the richest farmland in the nation on the city's northeast corner. The college serves residents of Macon County and parts of Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, and Shelby counties. RCC's open door policy allows admittance to anyone within the district that would benefit from a higher education. More than 30 areas of concentration are available for students, and those earning degrees in any of these areas can transfer to a four-year college or university. Lifelong learning programs and non-credit classes span topics from computers, investments, and fine arts, to auto mechanics and dance. The regional Heartland Technical Academy, teaches practical and work-related skills to high school students in subjects such as agriculture, childcare, criminal justice, and fire-fighting — often partnering with business and industry to get on-the-job training that will prepare students for life beyond the classroom. Big Blue James Millikin would be proud. He dreamed of a four-year university that would embrace the “practical” side of learning along with the “literary and classical.” With a combination of community support and private philanthropy Millikin built one of the nation's first small, comprehensive universities. Over a century later, the college continues to thrive — with three professional schools and one liberal
arts and sciences school serving a diverse student body of about 2,400 and offering over 50 undergraduate majors. Within six months of commencement, 99 percent of Millikin's graduates are employed or pursuing additional studies. Business played an early role in MU's history. Now, highly motivated professionals have the option of pursuing MU's Masters of Business Administration degree within the Tabor School of Business. Designed as a unified curriculum rather than a collection of courses, the program is meant to prepare students for leadership in today's complex business world. Millikin's Professional Adult Comprehensive Education (PACE) program is designed for working adults — students at least 24 years old with three years of work experience and 45 credit hours under their belts. Majors are available in Organizational Leadership, Criminal Justice, and Accounting. A nursing program is offered for those with an RN degree who wish to complete their BSN by going to night school.
Once you know about LSA, you will want your child at LSA!
Explore the World of Music Early experiences in music can have a dramatic impact on a child's potential. For over 100 years, Millikin University's School of Music has provided quality music lessons for students of all ages from Decatur and surrounding communities. Today, that tradition continues with the programs and private lessions offered by the Millikin University Preparatory Department. Summer Camp Our public education trend is right in line with a national movement towards experiential and exploratory learning. Summer School at District 61 took a new approach in 2011 – planners invited families to enroll their kids in a camp-like setting utilizing Decatur Park District facilities. Fewer desks for chalkboard lessons translated to more interactive and engaged kids. Traditional on-site schools were used primarily for accessing technology, such as Promethean Boards and computer labs. “Our intent was to create an atmosphere where the community becomes the classroom,” says Director of Special Programs Bobbi Williams. “We continue to encourage students to become good digital citizens in an increasingly technology-based culture.” Excursions to different “continents” at Park District sites prompted kids to recognize academic principles applied to the world around them. The response to this paradigm shift? More than 1,000 applications for roughly 800 spots. Students in need of catch-up time worked alongside higher-achieving peers in a collaborative format. Earlysummer evenings were marked by frequent sightings of the orange camp tee-shirts. To register, call Decatur Public Schools at 217-4243000. In Step Hundreds of local dancers take the stage during the year in Decatur to adoring audiences – and showcase the results of their hard work during classes offered across the community. Studio B has been home to dozens of young dancers since 1988. Offering a variety of days & times in their class schedules, each class size is monitored closely. Most classes are benefited by both a teacher and an assistant to better give your child the attention they deserve. With over 27 years of experience teaching dance, The Dance Centre specializes in a unique dance program for pre-school age students and offers a variety of classes for ages two through adult. Debbie's Dance Studio has 34 years of experience teaching young dancers and offers classes beginning with the Wiggles and Giggles class for ages 18 months to four years to specialized classes for boys and girls through adult.
After School Sports Golf Nearly on par with the professionals are their protĂŠgĂŠs â€”more than 350 junior golfers, ages four to 21, who compete in Decatur's Junior Open, the Midwest's top-ranked junior tournament. Beginning at an early age, young golfers in Decatur learn the skills of the game during junior golf programs offered at all our golf facilities. Soccer Youth soccer has found a home in Decatur as well, hosting indoor soccer leagues at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC) and games for all ages on manicured fields scattered throughout the city. The Midstate Soccer Club, a developmental program administered by the Decatur Park District, provides league and tournament play for youth ages 5-18 at the Decatur Soccer Complex on the city's north side.
DOWNTOWN'S DOMESTIC SIDE
Although the downtown business map has changed a bit over the years, local life still revolves around the original city boundaries. Brick streets that hearken to yesteryear tie the city's historic west side to the downtown district. Improvements along this West Main Street corridor also include a new multipurpose, paved hiking and biking trail that passes through the Millikin University campus and connects to our popular bike trail through Fairview Park and beyond. Our revitalization drive connects to quality of life, too. Residents want to live affordably and still be within minutes of work, school, shopping, and restaurants. To this end, Decatur is determined to create a mixed-use, 24-hour living environment in its downtown. Reinvestment is enticing homeowners to our city's core, with increasing numbers of young professionals and empty nesters moving on up to the upper floors of downtown buildings converted to “soft lofts.” With open floor plans and exposed brick and duct work, these renovated spaces exude a quintessential urban feeling.
Southeast to Mt. Zion The southern boundaries of Decatur are home to established neighborhoods in South Shores where you'll find an eclectic mix of grand homes ranging from those nestled among stately trees on Allen Bend to the Wildwood subdivision that borders the famed Red Tail Run Golf Club designed by legendary golfer Raymond Floyd. Heading southeast on Lost Bridge Road you'll arrive at the Home of the Braves - prep sports is a popular pastime in Mt. Zion. You'll discover the focus is on family with sprawling new subdivisions and country homes in this bedroom community just minutes from Decatur. The Estates at Ashland, Silver Leaf, Parkside East and Carrington offer new construction convenient to schools and village amenities. Buck Head lies to the east offering new building lots with sweeping views of the rolling prairie. In the planning stages is Summerfield, a new development of affordable homes in the Long Creek area. And, Brighton Park offers a development of new two-story townhomes located close to shopping and restaurants. These neighborhoods border Fletcher Park, a recent village recreation area development, offering a covered amphitheater, park pavilion, and wide open spaces perfect for family fun and entertainment. And, Spitler Woods State Park, a 202-acre state natural area with hiking trails, picnic areas and camping.
WEST END HISTORIC DISTRICT . Exploring our many neighborhoods is easy. Most of Decatur's historic gems reside just west of downtown — roughly bounded by Hayward, Eldorado, Church, and Lincoln Park Drive. Street lights have replaced the hitching posts in the historic district, but many of these stately dwellings stand today restored to their former glory. You'll find homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other architectural marvels located next door to renovated Victorian mansions built by Decatur's founding families including Millikin, Oglesby, and Powers. Just west of Millikin University in the West End neighborhood, the cozy 1920's and 1930's-era homes are so popular they often trade by word of mouth alone. Street strolling is a daily constitutional in this neighborhood, a fact made even more popular by the area's network of paved trails through nearby parks. On July 4, Cobb Avenue residents stage their very own parade — an event that enjoys a 50-year plus neighborhood history.
LAKEFRONT LIVING The south and east sides of Decatur enjoy close proximity to the shores of Lake Decatur. Stately homes offering panoramic lake views in Southmoreland, Bayshore, Lake Pointe and The Reserve mingle with lakefront cottage and bungalow neighborhoods in Homewood Fishing Club and Lake Grove Club, all designed for life on the water. Follow Country Club Road north to Airport Road where you'll find new homes in Country Club Estates mingling with sprawling lakefront property on both sides. Currently in the planning and development stages, the Chandler Park condominiums and apartments will offer lake views and convenient access to the future Decatur Park District lakefront enhancement project offering trails, fitness amenities, and a promenade of restaurants and shops on the shores of Lake Decatur.
North to Forsyth Built in the 60's and 70's, the northern boundaries of Decatur include Shadow Lane and Cresthaven subdivisions boasting large treed lots and walkable neighborhoods with easy access to shopping and entertainment. Added in the 90's, new subdivisions were built with sweeping views of Hickory Point Golf Course, an award winning public course that's home to the annual Futures Player's Championship, part of the developmental tour of the LPGA. The Village of Forsyth offers small town living in the country. Stevens Creek and other new subdivisions have grown out of the surrounding prairie with new homes in Grayhawk and Shadow Ridge Estates. The Forsyth Village Park hosts family picnics, reunions, annual festivals and league sports, and a trail system offers hiking and biking opportunities that will connect to Decatur's bike trails in a future 20-mile loop. Room To Grow While lofty apartments and new subdivisions attract young professionals and families, assisted living centers are being constructed in every corner of the city. Our older residents now have the advantages of assistance with everyday needs while enjoying the company of friends and family in a home-like setting. Other developments throughout our community are planned subdivisions targeted to “active seniors.” There's a home for everyone in Decatur, and the spirit of “togetherness” that initially characterized our neighborhoods still defines these areas today. New housing developments, along with renovations of historic homes, are our welcome mats to a city known for hospitality.
Published on Jan 1, 2017
Relocation Guide Digital Edition. Decatur’s central location and affordable cost of living make it an attractive place to call home. Browse...