Districtwide - Planned Projects & Initiatives
On Dec. 17, 2019, the Forest Preserve District's Board of Commissioners approved the 2019 Master Plan. This plan includes certified master plan projects and initiatives that will guide the District's operations in the coming years, with many already in progress or completed. The following projects and initiatives were planned for in the 2019 Master Plan, but have yet to get underway.
Description The project will renew the interior of the shower building using sustainable materials and fixtures that will make it easier to maintain, reduce future repairs, and improve aesthetics and the overall experience for users. HVAC improvements will reduce the rate of deterioration of finishes and improve the climate and air quality, especially in high-use conditions.
Project Need Opened in 1999, the building has been a major enhancement and convenience, attracting and retaining local campers. Rangers often receive positive comments from visitors. The building is not climate-controlled, though, and ventilation is limited to minimal exhaust systems and passive air movement. High humidity and the adverse nature of the building’s overall function have made maintenance a challenge. Many of the finishes used in its initial construction were likely not designed to handle current conditions and as a result are deteriorating.
Description This site currently contains a tall grass meadow that has had some supplemental prairie seeding and tree planting. The three- to five-year project will remove or herbicide invasive woody plants and herbaceous plants, convert existing meadow vegetation to native prairie species, and provide follow-up management.
Project Need At the corner of Naperville and Butterfield roads, Rice Lake and its surrounding fields and rolling hills dominate the landscape. The project will convert the Eurasian meadows into a native vibrant prairie. It will replace existing vegetation with native grasses and wildflowers by removing nonnative invasive woody and herbaceous plants and introducing the appropriate native species. The site will be a showcase for prairie restoration at one of the busiest intersections in DuPage County.
Description This project will replace and relocate the HVAC and mechanical systems, replace or repair deteriorated exterior woodwork, and tuck-point the building’s limestone masonry. It will redesign and replace outdated educational exhibits, provide cases for sensitive artifacts, update lighting to increase energy efficiencies and reduce ultraviolet effects on exhibits and artifacts, and address accessibility concerns.
Project Need The visitor center at the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center attracts approximately 45,000 preserve users a year of which about 21,000 are children from schools within the larger 6 County Chicagoland metropolitan area. The HVAC and mechanical systems are at the end of their useful life and need to be relocated for easier access. During major rains the lower level continues to flood, requiring extensive clean up and creating problems with humidity. After years of such wear, the exterior woodwork needs to be replaced or repainted, and the interior and exterior limestone masonry needs tuckpointing and minor repairs. The exhibits have not been significantly changed over the past 15 years and need to be refreshed to better enhance visitors’ experiences.
Description Maple Woods is a 65-acre Class IV mesic upland forest with portions of wet-mesic upland forest, immature upland forest, vernal ponds and stream communities. It contains 258 native plant species including one state-endangered and 17 of special concern. The three- to five-year project will remove invasive woody plants, thin abundant woody native plants (primarily sugar maples), herbicide invasive woody and herbaceous plants, augment native species, and provide follow-up management.
Project Need There has been some work at this site, which has an active volunteer steward, but it needs additional management, especially to remove the overabundant sugar maples. This project will greatly benefit this Class IV ecosystem, which is recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory and offers native plants and animals critical habitat in a heavily urbanized county.
Description This project area includes a number of communities including mesic and wet prairies, grasslands, wetlands, fens, and re-created prairie. The three- to five-year project will remove invasive and exotic woody plants, herbicide invasive woody and herbaceous plants, and overseed native plant species in previous agricultural areas that have gone fallow.
Project Need This is the largest intact block of natural prairie in DuPage County. As an Illinois nature preserve, Springbrook Prairie is dominated by Class IV, III and II ecosystems. Work on the 1,800-acre site will reconnect fragmented natural areas to create a showpiece of natural habitat. Efforts will include removing nonnative tree lines throughout the preserve to maintain an open landscape; removing weedy invasive plants and shrubs; and seeding with native grasses and flowers. It will help ensure the perseverance of no less than seven endangered and threatened species.
Description This three- to five-year project at this Class IV savanna ecosystem will stabilize and restore the meandering Klein Creek between County Farm and Geneva roads, restore in-stream habitat along the entire reach of the creek and the surrounding floodplain, and provide follow-up management.
Project Need This section of the creek flows directly between Kline Creek Farm and the Timber Ridge Visitor Center and offers picturesque moments and excellent opportunities for educational programming. There is potential cost-sharing and a leverage of funds with DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup and Carol Stream.