Visitors invited to celebrate new lot, safer access to one of the most popular preserves
(Sept. 20, 2022) — Forest Preserve District visitors are invited to join commissioners, staff, and other guests for a parking lot party on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien.
Attendees will enjoy a festive morning complete with trail tips and bike safety checks. In addition, breakfast items will be available for purchase from Beavers Coffee + Donuts, repeatedly voted one of Chicago’s best food trucks. The first 100 customers will receive a complimentary 1/2 dozen mini doughnuts and a free small coffee.
The new lot, a 2019 certified master plan project, allows parking for 180 cars, reduces pedestrian and user conflicts near the intersection of Cass Avenue and Bluff Road, and improves trailhead access. A former 17-car parking lot at the site could not adequately accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the preserve and frequently resulted in overflow parking on Bluff Road and Cass Avenue. Next year, a 0.3-acre picnic area and building with flush washrooms will further enhance the new lot.
The project’s design was coordinated with an ongoing habitat restoration project at the preserve to lessen impacts to natural resources, minimize disruption, and enhance the overall visitor experience. The new lot was open by Labor Day weekend, weeks ahead of its target completion date.
“We’re excited to welcome visitors to the new lot, which offers safer access to one of our most popular preserves,” said Forest Preserve District President Daniel Hebreard.
Forest Preserve District Commissioner Linda Painter, District 3, added, “With the increasing popularity of Waterfall Glen came parking and safety concerns. It’s great to see the much-needed parking lot come to fruition.”