Work to Begin on Next Phase of Spring Brook Creek Restoration Project

News Release


Work to Begin on Next Phase of Spring Brook Creek Restoration Project

Large-scale project continues in Blackwell Forest Preserve

(April 3, 2019) — Work is expected to begin in late April on a large-scale restoration project along Spring Brook Creek — a tributary of the West Branch DuPage River — at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

The $7.5 million project will improve habitat and water quality along Spring Brook Creek, creating better conditions for wildlife and providing visitors with impressive views of the surrounding prairies, wetlands and woodlands. The work is funded by the Illinois Tollway to mitigate effects from rebuilding the central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).

To safely accommodate crews and equipment, the West Branch DuPage River Trail and the youth-group campground at Blackwell will be closed through 2020. Campsite availability at the Blackwell family campground will be limited in 2019, although there will be some openings on select Friday and Saturday nights. Trail closures will be necessary during the project.

Work is expected to continue through spring 2021, although crews will continue to manage the newly planted vegetation and control invasive species after then.

Similar to the first phase of the project, which was completed in 2015 upstream at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville, the work at Blackwell will connect the creek to the floodplain, allowing nutrient-rich waters to flow in to newly created wetlands in the surrounding forest preserve instead of streets and storm sewers.

The restoration will connect the creek to the floodplain, allowing nutrient-rich floodwaters to flow into surrounding forest preserves and newly created wetlands, and allow the floodplain to store and filter stormwater.

The project will also:

● Meander the creek and create wetlands

● Remove a dam to allow fish and mussels to move upstream

● Add gravel, cobbles and boulders to the creek to improve habitat for macroinvertebrates, fish and freshwater mussels

● Reduce flooding along service roads

● Replace invasive brush and trees not historically found in this area with native plants

● Move the West Branch DuPage River Trail out of the floodplain

● Replace a deteriorating bridge

● Create a better forest preserve for visitors and wildlife

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, six 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, blogFacebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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