- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

LOVES PARK, Ill. (AP) - A popular sledding hill at a northern Illinois municipal park will soon be off-limits for a state-mandated environmental cleanup.

The Rockford Register Star (bit.ly/1QJyMcX ) reports that a portion of Sand Park in the city of Loves Park will close early next year for further work at the former Browning-Ferris Industries landfill.

The Rockford parks district, Loves Park and Browning-Ferris will split the $8.2 million project costs as part of an improvement plan negotiated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The state agency first detected hazardous chemicals in nearby wells in the 1980s, prompting a lengthy cleanup effort that began in 1990.

Local leaders say that maintaining the sledding hill would have cost an additional $3 million to $4 million. The area will instead be converted to a fenced-off prairie.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.com

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