OLLI Lectures

Wildlife Prairie Park: A "Jewel of the Midwest"

Wildlife Prairie Park opened to the public in 1978 – 35 years ago.  Today, this unique 1800-acre wildlife refuge hosts 140,000 visitors and educates more than 50,000 children and young adults each year.  In 2000, the park was deeded to the state of Illinois and became a state park.  On May 11, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that transferred Wildlife Prairie Park back to private ownership.

Bill Cirone will briefly describe the history of the Wildlife Prairie Park (starting with Bill Rutherford's vision), the journey to return the park to private ownership from state ownership, the business focus of the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park, and the strategic plan to ensure the success of Wildlife Prairie Park far into the future.

Date and Time

Thursday, January 16, 2014
6:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Refreshments
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Presentation

Location and Parking

Marty Theatre
Robert H. Michel Student Center, lower level
915 N. Elmwood
Peoria, IL 61606

Parking is available in any blue or white-lined space on campus.

View campus map (PDF) 


Bill Cirone is the President of the Board of the Friends of Wildlife Prairie Park and President of Federal Companies, a 100-year-old company that is one of the largest privately-owned moving, storage, and logistics companies in the country.


Though there is no cost to attend this lecture, registration is required.  

If you need to cancel, contact Continuing Education as soon as possible:  (309) 677-3900.

Lectures are held rain or shine, unless inclement weather closes Bradley University.