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Skelton Park

Skelton Park

101 E. Washington St.

Open Dawn to Dusk

About Skelton Park:

Coming this Summer 2023: Skelton Park renovation! This partnership with the City of Champaign and the Visit Champaign County Foundation, with generous support from Rotary Club of Champaign, will transform the park to become a state-of the-art park, community plaza, performance space, and play area as part of the Champaign County African American Heritage Trail. The transformed Skelton Park will be designed to honor the legacy of Champaign County’s many prominent and influential African American musicians.

The completed park is expected to include interactive musical instruments, new pathways, a designated play area, a plaza with ample room for small gatherings, and a seating wall and gentle slope for watching performances. The centerpiece will be a steel sculpture designed by African American artist Preston Jackson that reflects the musical heritage of Champaign County’s African American community.

Support the project with a commemorative brick today. Purchase here: https://ccafricanamericanheritage.org/donate/


Art Skelton History:

“President of Champaign Rotary ’56-57;, Arthur J. (for Jones) Skelton didn’t just work at Rotary those two years–he’s been working for WGRC and RI since 1947. He joined Rotary the same day as Chuck Petry and Scott Kelley, each one an Additional Active in his father’s classification. Maurice Skelton, who originally joined Rotary in Urbana in 1927, had brought his family back to Champaign after having a drug store in Gas City, Indiana.

Art graduated from U of I during WWII in marketing. He was a member of ROTC, Scabbard & Blade, Caisson Club and Sigma Chi. Already married and a father, he joined the army and served three and one-half years. Then he went to work as a druggist and became a Rotarian.

Art’s dedication to Rotary was such that in 1959, he became the Club’s third District Governor. He was just 37–the third youngest District Govedrnor in the world that year. He attended 10 straight RI Conventions, from tokyo to Switzerland, and 13 in all–more than any other RI committee member and co-chairman. In March he’ll be RI President Hodges’ personal representative at a Rotary District Conference in Kentucky.”

[Art’s devotion to Rotary continued. After serving on various international committees, he was the Nominating Committee’s choice to be RI director from Zone 3. In all, Art estimates he has represented RI presidents to at least 18 district conferences in this country and abroad. Appropriately, Art became the Club’s first Paul Harris Fellow. He served many terms as Club Secretary, and in 1979 became Champaign Rotary’s first and only Executive Secretary. He is known throughout the district as “Mr. Rotary.”]

“Art Skelton.” Champaign Rotary Club: The Story, 1916-2001, Champaign Rotary Club, Champaign, IL, 2001, pp. 102–103.



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