In or Out Of Forest Preserve’s Master Plan?
The commissioners’ vote on whether the historic barn should be added to the preserve’s Master Plan Certified Project List was a tie: 3-3. That meant it will not be included.
It wasn’t the outcome longtime advocate for the barn, Mary Lou Wehrli was hoping for.
“Hugely disappointed. There have been so many people working so hard over so many years, particularly the last 10 months,” said Wehrli. “It’s a shame the district doesn’t have the vision to include something as part of the process that is in itself a process. We have to look at windows and doors that are open and pursue them.”
Commissioners did vote to add over 30 other items to their master plan, citing projects that were approved were based on community feedback and the district’s mission to preserve nature.
What’s Next For The Historic Barn?
The 19th-century barn located near Hobson and Greene Roads has sat vacant since 1971, and will now be considered an initiative. That means the Greene Farm Barn could be included in a future master plan.
“We won’t stop working,” said Ed Stevenson, executive director for the preserve. “In the background we’ll be taking on initiatives, which help us bring ideas to the top of the list for future projects in five-year segments.”
Since acquiring it in the 70’s, the district has spent over a $1 million in renovation projects, but the barn is still not open to the public.
Members from the ad hoc committee, a five-member advocate group for the barn, were disappointed in the commissions verdict, but will continue their goal for the barn to be a community gathering center.
“I think we’ll probably hold some events that may have to do with the arts and entertainment. But you’ll have to stay tuned,” said Chair of the ad hoc committee Rachel Jenness.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.