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updated: 7/22/2014 4:10 PM

Des Plaines to allow chickens at Methodist Campground

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  • Des Plaines will allow its first chickens in town -- at the Methodist Campgrounds on the Des Plaines River.

      Des Plaines will allow its first chickens in town -- at the Methodist Campgrounds on the Des Plaines River.
    Courtesy of the Liberty Prairie Foundation

 
 

Staff at the Historic Methodist Campground in Des Plaines now have permission to raise chickens, though aldermen stopped short of allowing the practice citywide.

Officials at the campground, 1900 E. Algonquin Road, asked city leaders earlier this year to allow up to six chickens on site as part of a summer 4-H program sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension.

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Aldermen agreed unanimously this week to amend the city code on animals restricted within the city. Chickens are still prohibited, but the council carved out a carefully crafted exemption that allows "for educational purposes, up to six chicken hens on any property located within the city that is greater than 15 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

The 35-acre campground site, established in 1860 as a meeting point for traveling Methodists, meets that criteria.

Roosters are not allowed, city officials added.

Earlier this month, aldermen debated whether to allow chickens citywide.

Campground officials have said their chickens would be kept on site from June to November, then given back to a farmer. The 4-H club is intended for participants ages 8 to 17.

The campground is at the onset of a revitalization effort, and has a contract pending with Federal Emergency Management Agency service corps troops to clean it up, officials say.

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