Music, art, history, weddings, even micro-brewing – this is just a small sample of the dozens of suggestions people gave for the future of the Greene Farm Barn at an open house held in June.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns the barn and surrounding land – and commissioner Mary Lou Wehrli presented these results of the open house at a recent meeting at the Woodridge Library.
“We had 257 ideas. We did gain input from individuals, groups and stakeholders, and we did identify key issues and opportunities,” said Wehrli.
The meeting then turned into a public discussion. Residents asked questions and shared ideas and concerns about the project.
A popular idea was to connect future use of the barn with surrounding forest preserve land. Another idea, and one that came from concerns about noise and traffic, was to keep the scope of the project smaller.
“My idea is less more limiting, cause if you start small you can kind of control things better than opening it up to a big wedding venue,” said interested resident Rachel Jenness.
The future of this public barn seems to be in the hands of the public itself – community interest is necessary to drive the project and create a vision
“You’re here cause you care about the community and have something to give for its future,” said Wehrli. “I ran, I’m here, I’m five years into this. And I’m still trying to get interest in something happening here.”
“There’s a great deal of community interest out there to see more than a fixture on the landscape but for that to become a reality it takes an awful lot of dedicated hands,” said interested resident Peggy Frank.
The forest preserve has been maintaining the Greene Farm Barn since 1971, but since that time, its only use has been as part of the scenery.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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