Winter 2016 Press Release

September 6, 2016 – Collinsville, Illinois – fall and winter are upon those at the Collinsville Area Recreation District with events and programs to keep those of all ages active and entertained.

Gather at Willoughby Farm for Fall Farm Day on Saturday, October 1 from 10am-3pm.  This annual event is open to the entire family.  For just $2 per person, guests can enjoy hayrides and all things fall.

Halloween on the Farm is on Saturday, October 22 from 5pm-8pm.  At just $10 or $8 with a Benefit ID Card, this spooktacular event is for ages 8-14 and requires early registration.

On Thursday, October 27 from 5:30pm-7:30pm, fall lovers of all ages can enjoy Bonfire & Hayrides.  Guests are welcome to bring their own food to roast over the large bonfire in the fire pit and beverages to enjoy.  With Halloween just days away, guests are encouraged to come in their best Halloween attire.  While there is no cost to attend this event, the farm always appreciates donations.

Following the beautiful array of a colorful fall, Christmas programs will be abound in the District.  On December 4 from 1pm-4pm Willoughby Farm will be host to Christmas at the Farm.  This annual event is open to everyone for just $3 per person.  Come bundled up for this festive outdoor event.

CARD’s annual Breakfast with Santa will be Saturday, December 10 from 9am-10:30am at Ravanelli’s in Collinsville.  This event, open to all ages, sells out quickly, so register early.

For those parents needing a little extra time without their 3-6 year old, CARD is offering Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 17 from 9am-2pm at the CARD Activity Center.  This festive program will be filled with winter themed activities from crafts to movies and singalongs to keep your little one busy while you are away.  Early registration is required with this event.

For those with some extra energy to burn, CARD offers drop in classes.  For ages 16 and up, Open Volleyball is every Monday through December 12 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Dorris Intermediate School for just $3 per person.  Tuesdays at the Glidden Park Tennis Courts, Pickleball players of all levels can gather from 6pm-8pm through September 27 for just $2 per person.  Tuesdays and Thursdays at the CARD Activity Center from 6pm-7pm the soothing effects of Hatha Yoga are offered to participants of all levels for $3 per session.  Registration is not required for Drop-In classes.

For the 1 to 4 year old in your life, Totally Tots Playtime meets Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30am-11am for just $2 per child.  This playtime provides a great opportunity for tots to work on social interaction and motor skill development.  Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes so you can keep up.

Regular six week programs such as dance, tumbling and karate are available throughout the week as well and can be registered for at

CARD’s newest class is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Not sure if you have what it takes?  Demo Days will be held on October 8 at 10am and October 24 at 7pm.  Just call 618-346-7529 or email you name, age and number to  This addition is for all levels age 13 and up.  Classes will meet Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for  just $65 per month.

For those looking to have a celebration or gathering of their own, CARD offers plenty of opportunities.  From rentals at Willoughby Farm to room rentals at the CARD Activity Center, there are plenty of choices for that family celebration or business gathering.  For those looking for a bit more activity, ball fields are available for rent at the Jaycee Sports Complex and Woodland Park.

The newest rental opportunity is located at CARD’s Pleasant Ridge Park Archery Range.  The six lane range is available to rent year round, weather permitting, for $60 per hour or $50 per hour with a Benefit ID card.  Rental includes recurve bows and arrows as well as an instructor.

Arlington Greens Golf Course is currently offering Twilight Rates starting at 1pm for just $25 on weekdays and $27 on weekends.  Super Twilight Rates start at 2:30pm for $20 seven days a week.

Be sure to follow CARD on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and at to stay on top of upcoming events, programs and ways to save.  All registration can be done online, over the phone at 618-346-7529 or in person at 10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234.

Arlington Wetlands Gets Help From the Mississippi Valley Duck Association

COLLINSVILLE, IL- March 20, 2016
From Left to Right: Dave Koderhant, Gary Stevenson, Carol Frerker, Kip  Schnider, Keith Reineck, Don Bold

Arlington Wetlands is getting some help from the Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Association, a non-profit organization of sportsmen that work with area conservationists to help bolster native water fowl populations.  The new partnership will bring new homes to several feathered natives at the Arlington Wetlands.

On Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 4:30P.M., the Mississippi Valley Duck Association, of Millstadt, Illinois, donated and installed two wren houses, two bluebird houses, four wood duck houses and two goose nesting boxes.

The partnership will present an opportunity to not only allow more opportunities for the community to become involved, but will improve our wetland and woodland wildlife habitats.

The Collinsville Area Recreation District partners with Madison County Planning and Development and Heartland Conservancy in managing Arlington Wetlands and hopes this partnership will help encourage other regional organization to join the efforts to bring more awareness to the benefits and importance of a wetland as well as the enjoyment of observing wildlife.  Through multiple partnerships, educational opportunities with outdoor programming can increase.

Arlington Wetlands is located at 84 Arlington Drive in Granite City, Illinois. To learn more about the location visit or visit CARD’s website at

Donny Hall and Keith Reineck install a Wood Duck House in the trees at Arlington Wetlands with the help of Keith Renneck and Gary Stevenson

Thank you Mississippi Valley Duck Association!!!

Your passion and expertise in wetland ecology; along with your commitment to improving and preserving wetland habitats and youth education will truly help us in our mission of habitat conservation, education, and recreation for all ages.

-Carol Frerker, Supervisor for Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve
For more pictures of the install please visit our Facebook page.
Photos provided by Steve Rainbolt

Press Release for November

COLLINSVILLE, IL- NOVEMBER 29, 2015- It is business as usual for the employees of the Collinsville Area Recreation District.  Amid the discussions of a possible dissolving of the district, current employees are working diligently to ensure the annual events and regular programs go on without a hitch and the area parks are prepared for the winter ahead.

With Christmas right around the corner, CARD is partnering with The Collinsville Food Pantry to host a toy drive.  All individuals donating a new toy will receive 25% off class registration for upcoming January classes.  This discount is in addition to Early Bird discounts and Sibling discounts.  Donations will be accepted through December 14 at the CARD Activity Center.

Willoughby Farm is still going strong.  On December 5 from 9am-12pm, volunteers can come out for the Community Conservation Days and help to convert the surrounding invasive jungle into a native prairie and woodland area.  Participants will be identifying and removing unwanted invasive species and planting native seeds.  This is open to all ages and no experience is required.  The farm’s annual Christmas at Willoughby will be heldDecember 6 from 1pm-4pm.  This event is open to all ages and is just $3 per person.  Children age three and under are free.  Be sure to check online to learn about upcoming classes at the farm including Beginning Beekeeping, Book Binding, Garden Planning and Making Maple Syrup.

The CARD recreation department is keeping business going as usual with regular programs and events.  Parents in need of a time out on a Saturday can sign their little ones, between the age of three and six, up for Parent’s Time Out on December 5.  The event will run from 9am-2pm.  Children will have a day filled with holiday games and activities.  On December 12 the entire family can gather for Breakfast with Santa at the Collinsville Ravanelli’s.  The event takes place from 9am-10:30pm.  Registration is required for all events.

Drop-in classes are staying active to keep people busy during the winter months.  Open volleyball takes place on Mondays at Dorris Intermediate School from 6:30pm-8:30pm.  This activity is for those ages 16 and up.  For the toddlers in your life, Totally Tots Playtime takes place on Mondays and Thursday from 9:30am-11am.  This provides open play time for those between the age of one and four.  Thursday night’s Hatha Yoga is offered for those ages 16 and up.  Be sure to bring a towel or mat.  Registration is not required for these activities.  Small fees are taken upon arrival.

Be sure to take advantage of CARD’s Make a Wish Come True Toy Drive before December 14.  Bring in a new gift for a child up to the age of 15 and participants will receive 25% off of registration costs for any classes starting in January.  Those classes include Intro to Dance, Modern Dance, Karate I, Karate II and Tumbling.

To register or to learn more about any of CARD’s programs, events or facilities, visit the administrative office at 10 Gateway Drive, call 618-346-7529 or visit them online at

CARD to be in the Illinois Solar Tour on October 3rd

The Collinsville Area Recreation District and Splash City Waterpark are taking part in the Illinois Solar Energy Association’s Statewide Grassroots Solar Tour on Saturday, October 3.  This free self-guided open house demonstrates how Illinois homes and businesses are using solar, wind, and geothermal to become energy independent.

Stop by to learn about the solar technologies your neighbors are using to drastically reduce monthly energy bills, reduce harmful carbon emissions and enjoy tax credits and financial incentives as they improve their property values.  The Illinois Tour is part of a national event coordinated by the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society.

The Illinois home and business owners with renewable energy installations will be providing tours on Saturday, October 3 from 10am to 2pm.  Tour hosts will answer questions on how you too can harness the power of the sun and wind to fuel your home and business.

The tour will allow communities across the country the opportunity to see new, innovative technologies locally that benefit the environment on a global level.  The tour showcases real-life examples of how individuals are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

The tour is free and open to the public.  With over 80 locations throughout Illinois, there is a Solar Tour host site near you.  Stop in to see how solar energy can brighten your life.  A few of the local participants are located at:  3424 Brown Street, Alton, IL; 2506 Vandalia Street, Collinsville; 10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville; 27 Rose Court, Glen Carbon; 204 Collinsville Road, Troy.

The Collinsville Area Recreation District makes monitoring of a portion of their solar array available online at  Pictures and more information can be found at this site as well.

Press Release for August 11, 2015

AUGUST 11, 2015 COLLLINSVILLE, IL – The Collinsville Area Recreation District has a full schedule planned for the Fall and Winter months. From Fall celebrations to Breakfast with Santa and Pickleball to Art and Illustrations, CARD has something for those of all ages.

DROP-IN CLASSES: The drop-in classes offered by CARD require no early registration. Participants simply show up, pay a small fee and enjoy the benefits.

TOTALLY TOTS PLAYTIME: On Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30Am to 11AM, tots fill up two of our rooms for Totally Tots Playtime. Starting August 24, individuals can bring their 1 to 4 year olds to take advantage of our equipment while allowing their child to work on social interaction and motor skill development. At just $2 per session children can be entertained for over an hour.

OPEN VOLLEYBALL takes place on Mondays from 6:30PM to 8:30PM starting September 14 at Dorris Intermediate School in Collinsville. All equipment is provided. Participants must be 16 or over and just need to bring $3 per session.

PICKLEBALL is the newest addition and takes place on Tuesdays from 6Pm to 7PM starting September 1 at the Glidden Park Tennis Courts in Collinsville. It is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. Equipment will be provided or feel free to bring your own. Each session is just $2 per person.  HATHA YOGA is from 6PM to 7PM every Thursday at the CARD Activity Center This ancient practice combines focus, mindfulness, breathing and physical movements and has health benefits with regular participation. Participants just need to bring $5 per session, a mat or towel and wear comfortable clothing.

CARD’s WILLOUGHBY FARM has a lot planned for the community as well.  FALL FARM DAY is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 from 10Am to 3PM. This event is open to all ages and is just $2 per person with a $10 family maximum. Children 3 and under are free.

COMMUNITY BARN DANCE has returned and will take place on Sunday, October 25 from 6PM to 11:30PM. Put on your best old timey threads and enter our “Best Dressed” contest. Don’t know how to dance? Don’t worry; they will have a complimentary dance lesson from 7PM to 8PM.

CHRISTMAS AT WILLOUGHBY is scheduled for Sunday, December 6 from 1PM to 4PM. This event is open to all ages and is just $3 per person with a $10 family maximum. As usual, children 3 and under are free.  FAMILY HIKE & PLAY: Families can hike the trails at their own pace then join in for family games. Taking place on Sunday, September 20, October 4, October 25 and November 15 from 2PM to 4PM, there will be plenty to keep you busy. Please call the CARD Office to RSVP.


Halloween on the Farm is scheduled for Friday, October 16 from 5PM to 8PM and is for those ages 10 to 14. Participants are encouraged to come in a Halloween costume for the costume contest and be prepared to hike the haunted trail, roast hot dogs and marshmallows and carve pumpkins.

Breakfast with Santa is an annual event at Ravanelli’s in Collinsville. This all age’s event will take place on Saturday, December 12 from 9AM to 10:30AM. Not only will you get to enjoy a delicious breakfast, but your little ones will get a picture with the man in red plus some extra goodies for joining us. Be sure to register early for both of these events, space is limited. \

To learn more information about all CARD programs, classes and events visit them online at,

call 618-346-PLAY (7529) or drop by the CARD Activity Center at 10 Gateway Drive. Registration for all programs can

be done online as well.

July 2015 Press Release

COLLINSVILLE, IL – JULY – The summer weather finally seems to be agreeing with the Collinsville Area Recreation District’s Splash City Waterpark.  After a rough start of closing early and some days not even opening at all, Splash City is up and running.

From the return of the summer day camps for ages 7-13 to after hour rentals, the pools are staying full.  Summer camps started June 1.  There are eight themes to choose from with four weeks left to sign up for.  If the weather is permitting, day camps end with campers making a splash at Splash City.  Pee-Wee camps are also offered for ages 3-6.

Other events to look forward to this summer are Tunes on Tap and the parks annual Dash ‘n Splash 5K Run/Walk.

Tunes on Tap:  Party at the Poolside is an after hour party specifically for the 21 and up crowd.  Guests must be able to provide a valid ID and designated drivers will receive special treatment.  Music will be provided throughout the evening by local favorite Sweetbottom Band and the concession stand will be open late so visitors do not have to worry about dinner.  Admission is just $3 if tickets are purchased by July 6th.  Admission is $5 for tickets purchased after July 6th.

The Dash ‘n Splash 5K Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, July 18 with a race start at 6pm.  Registration is just $30 and those registering by July 1st are guaranteed a t-shirt and gift bag.  Music will fill the waterpark with the help of Phat Mix Productions.  A light dinner will be provided following the race and the concession stand will be open late to help curb those other urges.  An awards ceremony will follow the race for the top-three finisher in each age group and for overall finishers as well.  For those wanting to attend the after-party at Splash City, racers may purchase after-party passes for just $12 for age 17+ and $8 for ages 3-16.  There is no charge for ages 2 and under.  Additional race t-shirts may be purchased as well.  Participants are encouraged to register before July 1st, but same day registrations can be done from 5pm-5:45pm race day.  GCS Credit Union of Collinsville is a proud sponsor of this year’s race.

Those wishing to learn more about any events or to register for events can call the Collinsville Area Recreation District at 618-346-PLAY, visit online at or in person at 10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234.

CARD Press Release for December the 18th, 2014

The Collinsville Area Recreation District (CARD) announced today that it had filed suit in Madison County, Illinois against the City of Collinsville. The suit was filed to protect the parks from the City development. “It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but our parks cannot continue to be erroded away” said Patrick Collins, President of the Board of Commissioners for CARD. The subject of the suit is the City’s proposal to expand its water plant into the Jaycee Sports Complex. In addition to land being leased to CARD, the same land was acquired through an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development  (OSLAD) grant requiring that the property be kept as a public use park. The City has previously developed park land for non-park purposes while CARD has invested hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in these lands for people to enjoy. Under the terms of the current lease agreement between CARD and the City, the City cannot develop certain park property and facilities whenever they want. CARD is seeking answers regarding the City’s long term vision of the park properties, and what is going to remain park land and what is going to be used by the City for other purposes. CARD has filed certifications with the Illinois Department of natural resources (IDNR), the administrator of the OSLAD grants that the land is being used for public open space purposes.

CARD has attempted to privately negotiate with the City, to resolve the concerns that exist over the validity of the City’s proposed taking of park property, but the City has not been willing to discuss these issues. CARD has an obligation to the residents of the district to operate and maintain their parks, and further has an obligation to the IDNR to protect the integrity of the OSLAD program.