McDowell Grove: West Branch DuPage River Habitat Restoration and Hydraulic Improvements Project

Started in May 2013, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and DuPage County Stormwater Management began to restore a 3-mile stretch of the West Branch of the DuPage River, including 2 miles within McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville. This project is part of the greater West Branch DuPage River Corridor Restoration Project. The project, funded in part by a $1.37 million grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, will be completed December 2016. 

The final phase of this project will further address the flooding concerns along the river in Warrenville. Improvements include an extension of a flood control berm and multi-use path along River Road, creation of stormwater storage in Leone Schmidt Heritage Park, realignment of the West Branch DuPage River and associated river restoration that will improve habitat for fish and other aquatic species. 

Summer and fall of 2015 construction activities include a river and Warrenville Road bridge realignment by the County's Division of Transportation. Warrenville Road will be closed between River Road and Second Street beginning Thursday, May 21, 2015 for the replacement of the Warrenville Road bridge by DuPage County Division of Transportation. It will remain closed until December 2015.

The initial phases of invasive species control, including woody brush and tree removal, are complete, as is supplemental seeding, planting and installation of river habitat including riffles and pools. Native plant establishment, including mowing, controlled burning and herbicide applications, will continue over the next couple years.

The project benefits native wildlife by improving in-stream habitat and enhancing native riverbank and floodplain vegetation. Work along the McDowell Grove floodplain will help homeowners, too, by removing invasive trees and shrubs and allowing the area to better receive and retain stormwater.

For more information about this project and others West Branch of the DuPage River improvements, see DuPage County Stormwater Management’s website and the City of Warrenville's website

Project areas are highlighted in red.

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©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County