District's The Preserve at Oak Meadows Wins Golf Digest Award
“This Might Be the Most Important New Course of 2017” — Golf Digest
(Dec. 14, 2017) — The December 2017 issue of Golf Digest
bestowed its 2017 Green Star environmental award on the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s The Preserve at Oak Meadows for its environmental solutions by golf development.
“The Preserve at Oak Meadows, a daily-fee course in Addison, Ill., might be the most important new golf course of 2017,” said Ron Whitten, golf architecture editor at Golf Digest. “The Preserve demonstrates that a golf course can serve golfers and the greater community.”
Golf Digest instituted its Green Star award in 2009 to recognize golf facilities that “demonstrate the best in sustainable, efficient and innovative environmental practices that every golf facility could emulate.”
The recognition places The Preserve at Oak Meadows in some extraordinary company. Previous award winners include Kiawah Island Resort, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Pinehurst #2, Pasatiempo and The Rio Olympic Course.
“We are thrilled to receive this award and to provide a premier 18-hole golf destination and nature preserve for the public,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore. “We believe The Preserve at Oak Meadows is a model for how conservation agencies can blend ecological initiatives with golf and recreation.”
“Our work to renovate the course exposes the true beauty of the landscape and its function,” said Forest Preserve District Commissioner Marsha Murphy, District 1. “It’s been transformed into a place where conservation and recreation thrive together.”
Golf course architect Greg Martin, designer of The Preserve at Oak Meadows, said, “The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is to be commended for having the courage to pursue this project. Our mission was to thoughtfully integrate environmental benefit with a great golf course that could better withstand flood events. It validates our effort to integrate an exceptional golf experience with valuable environmental benefit.”
The course also recently won a Force of Nature Award from Chicago Wilderness for serving as a role model with its conservation and restoration efforts.
The Preserve underwent a major two-year environmental restoration project that improved stormwater management and water quality for Salt Creek, enhanced habitat for fish and other aquatic species and created a premier 18-hole public golf destination. It reopened for a brief preview season in late summer 2017 and has a full grand-opening season scheduled for 2018.
The property was reconfigured to reduce flooding in nearby communities by holding an additional 20 million gallons of stormwater from Salt Creek during flood events, while also minimizing flood damage to the course. Only 15 percent of the 288 acres is dedicated to fairways, greens and teeing areas, and the number of holes was reduced from 27 to 18. In addition, 25 acres of new wetlands and 43 acres of riparian habitat were created and 13 acres along the Salt Creek corridor were restored to improve water quality and plant and animal diversity.
Other improvements include a connection to the regional Salt Creek Greenway Trail, making The Preserve accessible to hikers, joggers and cyclists.
The Forest Preserve District and partners the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup and DuPage County Stormwater Management funded the restoration project. The River Prairie Group of the Sierra Club also supported the project’s initiatives.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.