The land that makes up Danada Forest Preserve previously contained native prairies and wetlands, but these habitats were lost as farmers tilled the prairie and buried clay tiles to drain the soil for crops and pastures. These changes coupled aggressive invasive and non-native woody plants, such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, have contributed to the degraded condition of the preserve and surrounding habitats.
Starting in February 2017, theForest Preserve District and theDuPage County Stormwater Managementare starting a project to recreate approximately 21 acres of wetlands and 23 acres of prairie. In addition to providing healthier habitat for native wildlife, the project will better accept, store and clean stormwater.
To accomplish this, the contractor will disable buried agricultural drain tiles and install additional improvements to restore a more natural groundwater condition. Crews will also mow and remove weedy trees and brush, control invasive plants and reintroduce native vegetation to improve the ecology of the site.
Danada Forest Preserve and its trails will remain open during most of the work, which should be substantially completed by 2018 for construction activities and 2022 for initial maintenance activities. However, temporary trail and natural area closures may be implemented for the safety of our preserve users. Visitors should be careful near construction areas and follow all signs and workers’ instructions.
Funding is being provided by DuPage County's Fee in Lieu of Wetland Mitigation Banking Fund, which is used to offset the loss of similar habitat during development.