032922HAO013531 rSPRINGFIELD – A measure initiated by local students to establish Dolostone as the official rock of the State of Illinois was advanced out of the Senate by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“Exceptional young people from across the state came together to bring forth this legislation,” Ellman said. “They saw a fantastic learning opportunity in front of them and took full advantage—and they deserve to have their voices heard.”

House Bill 4261 was brought to the General Assembly by students from Pleasant Dale School in Burr Ridge and Maplebrook Elementary School in Naperville who discovered Illinois did not have a state rock. The students took it upon themselves to interview regional geology scholars, visit museums and do their own research. They then developed a ballot with three choices and asked schools across Illinois to vote on a state rock. Dolostone was the winner.

Dolostone is a sedimentary rock that underlies nearly all of Illinois, with the exception of the northernmost part of the state. It helps enrich soil across the state by providing valuable nutrients for plant growth, and caused a major mineral rush in Galena, Ill. in the early 1800s.

In addition to its natural abundance throughout the state, Dolostone plays a significant role in Illinois through its utilization in many important structures. Most notably, 3,300 exterior dolomite stones were used in the construction of the Old Illinois State Capitol. The quarry the stones were sourced from is now under Lake Springfield.

“Anyone is capable of creating change, and the engaged and curious students who crafted this legislation have proven just that,” Ellman said. “Since they helped us designate our state tree and flower over 100 years ago, our students have been a cornerstone in our state’s history and heritage.”

The legislation, having passed out of both chambers, now awaits further action.

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