Pierce Downer’s Heritage Alliance comments on proposed ORD 2019-8383,
An ordinance amending construction site management permits and provisions concerning the protection of trees and shrubs.

At its November 12 meeting the Village Council adopted amendments to the building code that are intended to strengthen protection of parkway trees during construction projects.  PDHA had submitted the following comments to Council:

1. PDHA is pleased to see the Village recognizing that there are continuing issues with regard to tree protection during construction projects, and views these proposed changes as a step in the right direction.
Damage to parkway tree
2.  The requirement to place a sign on parkway tree protection fencing is a positive step, and a good way to raise public awareness of the Village’s dedication to protection of parkway trees. The signs should include a description of the fencing requirements, so that any passerby can tell at a glance whether they are being complied with.

3.  The increase in fines for violations indicates the Village’s serious focus on the issue, and is appropriate in light of the monetary scale of current construction projects.

4.  Consider making the proposed requirements in section 24.7.B apply to any site with parkways trees regardless of their size. In particular, consider making requirements 1 (attend a meeting to discuss the prevention of injury to trees in the public right-of-way, construction expectations and potential issues) and 3 (requiring inspection and pre-approval before trenching or augering within a critical root zone) apply to all projects, rather than being limited to situations where there is a very large (24-in) tree in the parkway. Those processes should be part of any construction project.  Notice and face to face consultations offer the opportunity to avoid unintended tree damage, make suggestions to reduce such damage, reinforce good practices, and show the Village’s commitment to tree protection.

5. Will documentation be available to the public about fines that have been levied in specific cases, and why they were levied?  To someone concerned about tree protection, concerned about the record of a particular builder, or simply curious as to the level of enforcement of these requirements, this could be valuable information.

6. These amendments should be instituted immediately, but the Village also should initiate a process to provide appropriate protective measures for ALL trees on a construction site, not just parkway trees.  Just as the size, placement, and other qualities of a building affect the neighbors and neighborhood, so does the presence of trees.

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Gordon Goodman Recognized As
 Outstanding Citizen Volunteer

Dr. Gordon Goodman has been named a 2019 Outstanding Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD). As explained on the DGParks.org website, this award recognizes citizens' volunteer efforts to enhance a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation or special recreation agency program, service, parkland, open space or facility.

The Downers Grove Park District nominated Gordon for his long-term, outstanding contributions in securing and safeguarding the Lyman Woods Nature Preserve and the 1846 Blodgett House at the Downers Grove Museum.
Goodman & McAdam 11/1/2019
At this year's IAPD Gala held November 1st
Bill McAdam, Executive Director for the Downers Grove Park District, congratulated Gordon.

“Dr. Goodman’s dedication, support and foresight in preserving natural areas and historic landmarks has provided our community with significant treasures to appreciate and enjoy for generations to come,” said McAdam.

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Historic Preservation Activities

The Village's historic preservation program was revised in 2015, contributing to an increased interest in landmarking homes and other structures. Since then twenty-three historic features have been granted local landmark status in Downers Grove – nine structures in 2016, another nine in 2017, four more in 2018 and three historic features in 2019.

Robert  J. Darnley HouseThe Village Council unanimously approved landmark status on July 9, 2019 for the Robert J. Darnley House, 4721 Highland Avenue, at the request of Ted and Andrea Anderson.  Please click here to learn about this Craftsman Cottage home that was built circa 1904.

The Village Council unanimously approved Main Street Cemeterylandmark status on April 16, 2019 for the Village owned Main Street Cemetery, 5158 Main Street, following a request by the Downers Grove Historical Society.
  Please click here to learn about this source of civic pride and identity that was established in 1856.

H M Patton HouseThe Village Council unanimously approved landmark status on February 5, 2019 for the H. M. Patton House, 5 Jacqueline Drive, at the request of Judith M. Erickson.  Please click here to learn about this English Country Revival home that was built circa 1927.

Please click here to read about the presentation to Friends Of The Edwards House of the 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Advocacy.

Please click here for a complete listing of the 27 historic features that have been granted local landmark status in Downers Grove.

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Betty Cheever & Wally Brown Honored

Many organizations and individuals joined forces to honor Betty M. Cheever and Wallace H. (Wally) Brown (June 16, 1928 - April 23, 2019) with tribute benches in Lyman Woods Preserve. A celebration of Betty Cheever's and Wally Brown's community leadership took place on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Lyman Woods Interpretative Center.  Please click here to learn more about this event and the tribute benches honoring the late Wally Brown and Betty Cheever.

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Heritage Alliance Mission

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Downers Grove. In the past, we have maintained sharp focus on the natural heritage within our community. Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance has been instrumental in the preservation and protection of Lyman Woods, and Belmont Prairie, which continue as on-going projects.

We are now also committed to the preservation of  cultural aspects of Downers Grove, including its rich architectural heritage. We work to accomplish our mission through education as well as community outreach.

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Heritage Quiz

Can you find this house in Downers Grove and why it is important?
(Click the image for the answer.)


Last updated 11/14/2019

Village Council Meeting
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Meeting Agenda
7:00 PM, Committee Room
Village Hall
801 Burlington Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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PDHA Meeting
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

7:00 PM, Room 307
Lincoln Center,
935 Maple Avenue,
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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Click here to read our
2019 Fall Newsletter

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Click here to read our
2019 Spring Newsletter

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Please consider
a charitable donation
to support
educational activities of
Pierce Downer's
Heritage Alliance.

Click here to request
more information about Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance.
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Click here to see
Ashley Wurth's slides
about Urban Coyotes
from our
2016 Annual Meeting.

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Click here to see Michael Lambert's slides on Historic Preservation in Geneva, IL
from our
2015 Annual Meeting.

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Click here to learn about beekeeping in Lyman Woods.

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1846 Blodgett House

An opportunity exists to restore the 1846 Blodgett House, one of the Village's oldest houses reflecting our rich cultural heritage. PDHA supports such efforts to preserve valuable historic resources for future generations.

Click here to learn about the
1846 Blodgett House project.

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Click here to learn more about other local historic preservation activities in Downers Grove.

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Downers Grove Township's Monthly Electronic Recycling
Is Continuing in 2019

AVA E-Recycling is continuing again this year its electronics recycling program in cooperation with Downers Grove Township Highway Department.

Audio or video cassettes, as well as CD’s, are no longer accepted and all TV’s need to have a prepaid coupon from AVA. Please click here to learn more about the rules for recycling TV's.

The next event is scheduled Saturday, September 21, from 8 AM to 12 PM at the Highway Garage, 318 Quincy Street, Westmont IL 60559. Other events will follow on the third Saturday of each month at the same time and location, unless that date falls on a holiday weekend.
As always the events close promptly at noon and electronics can only be dropped off on event dates. Drop offs outside of designated hours are not allowed.
For further information, please call Downers Grove Township Highway Department at (630) 719-6625.