Forest Preserve District earns state awards


The Byron Forest Preserve District was recently recognized with two prestigious awards from the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) at their Annual “Soaring to New Heights” Conference.

The Forest Preserve received an Outstanding Facility Award (Division 1) for PrairieFire Golf & Grill (located at PrairieView Golf Club) and an Outstanding Event Special Event Award for the PrairieFire Invitational charity golf tournament. The awards were given to agencies that exhibited outstanding and unique achievements in the design and development of new/renovated facilities and special event planning.

“We are proud to be recognized at a state level by the IPRA for our efforts in making PrairieFire a unique, year-round golf facility,” said Todd Tucker, Executive Director of the Byron Forest Preserve District. “The PrairieFire Invitational is also an event that serves a lot of charities, and we look forward to growing each year.”

Opened in the June of 2020, PrairieFire is a year-round driving range facility with indoor and outdoor seating that includes eight covered and heated hitting bays, Toptracer® virtual golf games, and a full-service bar & grill. PrairieFire has been very well received and become a golf entertainment destination for golfers and non-golfers alike.

The PrairieFire Invitational is an annual tournament brings together top amateur golfers from Rockford area courses for a competitive tournament on a virtual golf course. What makes the PrairieFire Invitational event so unique is that the tournament is structured where players compete for charities of their choosing. Sponsor proceeds from the event are allocated to each player’s designated charity based on their finishing position. Over $20,000 was donated in 2021 to 24 different charities, many of which serve the Rockford area.