Lake Shelbyville, the third largest reservoir in the state of Illinois, is an active U.S. Army Corps
of Engineer project in a once-sleepy agricultural area in Central Illinois. Completed in 1970, the
Lake has grown and prospered since its inception, currently drawing in four million visitors
each year. Visitor spending is credited with bringing in more than $120 million to the area each
year, creating jobs for almost 1,000 people. The project features five federal and two state-
leased campgrounds, 10 boat ramps, six beaches and more than 170 miles of shoreline.
Managers and rangers at this 11,000 acre lake have partnered with numerous private groups
and government agencies to create a rich recreational experience with fishing docks, bicycle
trails, deer hunts for young people and disabled individuals, and countless other activities.
The project's recreational offerings are enhanced by the efforts of many dedicated volunteers
and numerous partners. These groups have been a tremendous asset in helping build
recreation facilities and improve the lakes budget efficiency. Volunteers clean and mow
campgrounds, host the Visitor Center, assist with special events and support the Lake in
countless other ways.
The project's main partner is the Lake Volunteers Association (LVA), whose many members
contribute enormously to the lakes maintenance and its special events. One major event in
2014 that LVA assisted with is the Loop Lake Shelbyville Bike Ride. Many people in the area
(and at many other Corps lakes as well) have become interested in cycling in recent years and
Lake Shelbyville plans to make "The Loop" an annual event to meet customer demand. This
ride starts at the Shelbyville Visitors Center and encompasses the entire lake, connecting with
the five nearby towns. Other partners that helped out with the race include Central Illinois
Mountain Bike Association (CIMBA), several local bike shops and local businesses.
The Lake Volunteer Association's main fundraising events include an electronics recycling day
(see below), raffles, Fourth of July fireworks, and merchandise sales at the Visitors Center,
which is staffed by volunteers.