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From Mud to Parks: The Ultimate in Recycling

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is undertaking a project that could be called the ultimate in land recycling. Crews are dredging up mud that has clogged the bottom of the Illinois River near Peoria and shipping it up to Chicago, where it will become topsoil for a new park being built on the site of an old steel mill.

The project solves two problems at once: It clears silt that endangers ecosystems and makes the river difficult to navigate; and it provides quality soil necessary for the conversion of abandoned industrial sites. NPR's David Schaper reports.

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David Schaper is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, based in Chicago, primarily covering transportation and infrastructure, as well as breaking news in Chicago and the Midwest.