LA SALLE COUNTY -- People all over central Illinois are trying to stop a controversial project in LaSalle County. It's received final approval from the county board, and could begin as early as next month.
Starved Rock State Park is a popular destination for tourists, but groups like the Sierra Club of Illinois are worried it's at risk.
Clean Water Advocate Cindy Skrukrud said, "People care so much about this park and are really concerned about a sand mine right on its door step."
The club is rallying Sunday to voice its opposition to a planned sand mine nearby. Members like Cindy Skrukrud said they have a lot of concerns. "We have big concerns about noise, trucks, it will be a 24/7 operation so we'll have blasting, dust."
The Calhoun family owns land just feet away from where the mine is set to operate. Calhoun said it will not only ruin their quality of life, but potentially, their beekeeping and honey business. He said, "We're not sure if the continuous blasting will effect, I mean if you think about going up to a bee hive and shaking it, bees aren't gonna be too happy."
The family has owned the land for generations. They value the quiet, the fresh air and the water, all things he said are now in jeopardy. "Our biggest noise right now is that occasional gunfire that is three miles away... and I've told a lot of people this canyon echos that noise."
Skrukrud said opponents have until Nov. 18 - after that, if the mine gets all of its permits, it could be open for business.
She said she needs people to speak out now, more than ever before. Skrukrud said, "I think people just need to think about how much the state parks mean to us today and how much it's meant to people for thousands of years."
Their last hope is to get Gov. Pat Quinn's attention and potentially have the state stall the project.
The company behind the mine is Mississippi Sand. It sent us a statement saying, "Our permits have been scrutinized more than any other sand mine in the area and likely more than any sand mine permitted anywhere in the State of Illinois. We have fully cooperated with every agency and performed a number of additional studies on our property to insure our project meets all local, state and federal regulations. We remain committed and confident in our project for Ottawa. We know our project will bring tremendous value to the local community through jobs, taxes and local spending."