Change is coming . . .

Our good friends from Geneseo Memorial dropped off the engraved rock and plaque for our next improvement project at Lock 31. The memorial benches, as a tribute to our benefactor Julie Hubbard, will be installed in late August along with a memorial plaque.

The rock is resting in the Pollinator garden waiting to be moved to the memorial site. It looked so good in the garden we decided that is where it will stay. Drop by and take a look!

Reminder:  Hennepin Canal Lock 32 and trails are now open after the long flood!   The IDNR cleared the fallen trees from the trail; BISAWPA volunteers mowed and trimmed weeds at Lock 32; and Blackhawk Township cleared the mud from Canal Avenue.  Please note; however, the primitive trail is still rutted from the flood damage and is in pretty rough shape.

Welcome to Big Island, Illinois

Big Island is an oasis for outdoor activities and is conveniently located within the Quad Cities

Big Island is also defined by the historic Hennepin Canal and the Hennepin Parkway. So many of the distinctive features of the island are free and open to the public to enjoy. 

Big Island is located at the delta of the Rock River where it empties into the Mississippi River near Milan, Illinois. Once the biggest island on the Rock River it was suitably named Big Island. However it is not surrounded by water any longer. This change occurred when the slough that previously defined Big Island was filled in to make room for a highway system that now transverses the island. However, these geographical distinctions don't take away from the "island feel" of Big Island. It is indeed an oasis of abundant wildlife that is easily enjoyed by anyone who care take a short drive off the 'blue bridges' at Highway 67 and enter into a place where blue herons fish in shallow waters and water is the predominant feature.  


Being situated next to the scenic and user-friendly Hennepin Canal is one of Milan’s most valuable assets. It draws visitors to the region which brings many economic benefits. The paved and rustic trails, canal, and picnic shelter help to make this area a great place to live, work, and play! The more we can promote and increase the visibility of this backyard treasure, the more our businesses and community will benefit.

Randy Wlaskolich, BISAWPA President