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Friends of the KRT

Work together to develop a mission and vision for the

Friends of the KRT

Having a "Friends of the KRT" membership organization to support the current and future use and development of the KRT has been in the vision and discussions of everyone involved in the KRT essentially from the beginning. Specifically, steps were begun to form this group in 2020, slowed up by the Covid pandemic, picked back up in 2021, and formalized in early 2022. A small group of participants who have been involved in this process and expressed interest in serving on an initial board were nominated and then agreed to serve as "Organizing Board Members." 


These Board members represent both Champaign and Vermilion Counties and will be involved in the early stages of getting the Friends of the Kickapoo Rail Trail registered with the State of Illinois, established as a 501(c)(3) organization, and other logistical and practical matters. These Organizing Board Members (and others they recruit in the months ahead) will begin meeting in early March of 2022 to take further steps to make this Friends of the KRT organization a reality. 


This Organizing Board will have full responsibility for the Friends of the KRT organization until the first, "Friends of the KRT Annual Membership Meeting" is held and votes are taken for Friends of the KRT Board Members. This is currently anticipated for some time in late 2023.


The KRT Steering Committee helped advise and guide this process from the beginning and Diane Banta volunteered to help facilitate the organizing meetings from June 2021 to February 2022. For her energy, wisdom, and guidance, we are all thankful.


The Organizing Board Members of the Friends of the Kickapoo Rail Trail currently include:


Vermilion County

Champaign County


Kevin Green  
Mary Ellen Wuellner

Teri Merrell 

Steve Hankel

Drew Landis  

Jeff Yockey

Jeanie Cook 

Rich Furr


Friends of the KRT Address: 

P. O. Box 271

Oakwood, IL 61858


One result of the organizing meetings was the creation of by-laws for the Friends of the KRT.  The by-laws contain the purpose of the organization and state how the organization is structured to operate.  These by-laws were adopted in March. 



The Organizing Board will begin communication with everyone interested in the Friends of the KRT very quickly by utilizing this website, newsletters, and various social media. The Organizing Board of the Friends of the KRT is actively working with the KRT Steering Committee to plan and host a Kickapoo Rail Trail Celebration on April 24, 2002, in Oakwood, IL.


If you wish to communicate with the Friends of the KRT Organizing Board, please use this email

KRT Celebration on April 24, 2022

Join us as we celebrate the success of the KRT!


As a Kickapoo Rail Trail Supporter, we would like to extend a special invitation for you to join us at the KRT Celebration event on Sunday, April 24, 2022, from 1 pm - 4 pm. This event will celebrate the work and efforts of all volunteers, community groups, donors, and supporters of the Kickapoo Rail Trail.

The event is open for everyone to attend as well and will be located along the KRT in the Village of Oakwood from 1 pm - 3 pm with vendors, local community groups, and organizations available, as well as live music entertainment and light refreshments. 

At 3:30 pm, there will be a dedication and celebration event on the KRT Trestle Bridge. 

Parking will be available in several locations at either the Oakwood KRT parking lot across from the Oakwood Village Hall or the KRT Trestle Bridge parking lot with participants walking or biking to Oakwood. There is also the option of parking within Kickapoo State Park and then biking or walking into Oakwood.  Groups of cyclists will be organizing group rides from St. Joseph and Urbana to Oakwood as well. If you are interested in connecting with these group rides, please contact the Prairie Cycle Club website at

More details will be announced as we get closer to the April 24th KRT Celebration event. For updates and more information, please visit or follow the Kickapoo Rail Trail on Facebook.

Questions? Please contact Lara Danzl at, 217-442-1691, or Jeff Yockey at, 217-565-1785.

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