|Located here in Southern Illinois, what many would consider the capital of southern Illinois, is Carbondale Illinois. About an hour drive from where I live is a large community thriving. Carbondale Illinois is where SIU-C is located at but also a great park for the entire family.
It seems that on the outskirts of Carbondale is a place full of sword and sorcery. The past of Dungeons & Dragons still lives. The date of existence is August 22nd, 1993 because it was the date that 19 year old Jeremy "Boo"Rochman was involved in a fatal car crash on Giant City Road. Located near the point of the accident now lays a park he would have loved.
Barrett Rochman, Jeremy's dad, the president of an investment firm, bought 3.5 acres across the street from where there home is.The idea was to build a memorial park with a dungeons & dragons theme because Jeremy had loved D&D. Sculptors, carvers and painters were hired to create a Tolkien inspired art out of wood, stone, tile, metal, and cement.
Art students from near by SIU were employed to help create the magic of the park as well.. In 2005 the park was open to the public. The center point is the castle that is more like an elaborate jungle gym with tunnels, stairs, and bridges. Inside the castle are hidden doors and passage ways for the smaller individuals that visit. Decorating the castle are gargoyles and knights as well as pennants. On top of the castle you will find an ogre as well as look for the collection of swords that belonged to Jeremy.
Just like I would imagine any castle in the day would have had beautiful flowers and trees so does Boo's castle. Along side all the beautiful nature look for all the sculptures of gremlins, fairies, gnomes as well as a giant sleeping dragon. Wizards can be found here frozen in time. Pegasus and unicorn are among native plantings. Goblins are found in the trees as archers take aim.
The park may have been created with only local visitors in mind but has become popular with fans worldwide. The park was designed for kids and is perfect place to visit for families.
We loved our visit to the park. Perfect for adults to relax and kids to play as well.