The DuPage County Forest Preserve District held open houses this weekend at their Blackwell, Greene Valley, and Waterfall Glen Forest preserves. The meetings were used to discuss and get public feedback on the master plans for each of the three preserves.
“So, this is going to be our plan for the next five, ten, 15, 20 years. We’re just looking at doing some kind of modest upgrades: things like improving some trails, adding some things like drinking water, and flush restrooms, and it’s been really well received so far,” said Jessica Ortega, manager of strategic plans.
The goals are similar for all three spots, with an eye toward enhancing the user experience. That means improving parking, vehicle access, trail connections, and giving more recreational opportunities at each site. For busy Waterfall Glen, it also means better infrastructure to cut down on the impacts of congestion and high use. From a natural resource viewpoint, improving wildlife diversity and quality are a focus at all three.
“Things have changed over the past 20 years, the way that people use the forest preserves. So, hearing the way that people like to use the forest preserves, what are their favorite parts is really going to help us focus on what are those changes that we need to do to get these forest preserves up to where people want them to see for the next 50 years moving forward,” said Ortega.
The forest preserve district held similar meetings last year to gather feedback. That, along with this latest round of input, will help them in locking down their final master plans, to be presented to the Forest Preserve District Board in November. So far, their vision seems on track.
“A lot of really positive feedback, seems like people love their forest preserves. You know, obviously of course you hear things on both sides of the coin, but so far been some really good feedback and happy that people are engaged and providing their opinions,” said Ortega.
The forest preserve district has an online form for feedback, available until June 24.
Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports.
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