All great places have one thing in common: great people.

Mark Monge swears by the saying, “The grass is greener where you water it.” It’s an old adage, and a good one, in part because its undeniable. Kind of like Mark Monge.

A native Peorian with deep roots in the community at large, Mark is a person whose vibe walks in a room minutes before he does. A real estate agent “by profession,” his real occupation can best be described as “positive force,” as well as a devoted family man and a nature enthusiast. The vast and active outdoor community in Greater Peoria is incredibly supportive of one another and involved in maintaining the area’s outdoor activities — especially the many hiking trails. 

“Somebody’s got something going on [here] every day of the week throughout the entire year,” he says with a smile. “Whether it’s hiking, biking, running, or paddling.” 

While Mark briefly considered relocation after college, venturing out to Colorado, he realized that his grass was still greener back home in Illinois. As beautiful as the Rockies were, he realized all the nature — and all the people — he loved were in Peoria. 

Since then, he’s committed himself to continuing to “water the grass” in this region, reinvesting as much as he can to the warm and gracious community that’s been his lifelong home. As it’s grown, too, Mark sees the benefits of Greater Peoria’s big-city amenities at small-town costs.

“Somebody’s got something going on here every day of the week throughout the entire year, whether it’s hiking, biking, running, or paddling.”

“It’s fun driving people from big cities around,” he chuckles loudly. “Showing them homes for $300,000 they say would go for $750,000 where they’re from!”

With close family and affordable living, in a tight-knit community with exciting activities season-in-season-out, Mark believes Peoria is the best place one can be. And he knows that as long as he and others “keep watering it,” the green grass of the place we call home will only keep growing strong.

Check out Mark’s website and learn about all the best local nature spots in Greater Peoria:

Greater Peoria Q&A with Mark Monge

Greater Peoria in One Word: Fun

People of Greater Peoria in One Word: Caring

If Greater Peoria Had a Tagline: “It’s better here.

Favorite Annual Event: Beers and Gears

Piece of Advice for Someone Moving Here: “Dive into everything there is.”


Check out the stories of those who chose more in Greater Peoria.