Summer Wilderness & Wildflower Walks

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is celebrating Summer 2015 on Saturday, August 22nd with guided Wilderness & Wildflower Walks in the Belmont Prairie, a dedicated State of Illinois Nature Preserve that is owned and managed by the Downers Grove Park District.
Belmont Prairie
Volunteer Naturalist Lance Herning will lead two groups of hikers, one departing at 9 AM and the other, at 11 AM.  Each group will be limited to about 8 participants and should expect to spend about 1 hour exploring the vistas, plants and animals of this high quality natural area.  After the walk we will provide refreshments and opportunities for conversation.

Register now to take part in this special exploration of the Belmont Prairie.  Reserve your departure time and make a $25 donation to support educational activities of Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance. Space is limited.  Click here to register and reserve your place on one of our Belmont Prairie Wilderness & Wildflower Walks.

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Updating Historic Preservation Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance & Comprehensive Plan

The Village Council has recently begun consideration of updates to Downers Grove's Historic Preservation and Zoning Ordinances

Several significant actions were taken on July 21st.  In addition to approving ordinances to amend the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance, the Council adopted a resolution establishing the ad hoc Subcommittee of the Architectural Design Review Board to review changes to the Historic Preservation and Zoning Ordinances. The Council also approved Mayor Tully's appointments for the seven members of that Subcommittee.

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PDHA Receives Tree Advocate Award.

Pierce Downer’s Heritage Alliance has received an award from the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) for “Best Community Advocate.”  CRTI was established in 2013 as a collaboration of Chicago-region partners to develop and implement a strategy that builds a healthier and more diverse urban forest by 2040. Its activities include gathering data on forest composition, planting and tree stewardship, and promoting education and training on the value and benefits of trees.  PDHA was recognized for our sponsorship of environmental education activities and our advocacy and service on behalf of the Downers Grove urban forest.

CRTI is a consortium of local and national organizations. Key members include the Morton Arboretum, Openlands, Chicago Wilderness, the Nature Conservancy, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.  Information about CRTI may be found at

The awards ceremony was held Tuesday, July 14 at the Morton Arboretum.   CRTI Award Ceremony Chairman Ken Lerner with Directors Irene Hogstrom and Mark Thoman received the award certificate on behalf of PDHA from Michael Collins, Riverside Village Forester.  The award also includes a voucher for a free tree from one of the CRTI's participating nurseries.

Many thanks to the volunteers and contributors who make it possible for us to be the local Lorax and “speak for the trees.”  (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)  Thanks as well to the Village of Downers Grove and Downers Grove Park District staff who have worked with us on tree-related programs.

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The W. H. Edwards House Is Gone.

The Edwards House was demolished on Saturday, June 6th.

    Down with the old

"After much effort and so much community support, it is a sad and frustrating outcome," Ken Lerner, PDHA Chairman, commented. "We thank the Tillotson/Wast family for their valiant efforts at saving the house. Their message on the PDHA website mentions some of the many people who were involved in the effort to save the house over the last year. Tom Nybo in particular was a consistent spark and driving force, while Mike Behm contributed vital business planning expertise."  Click here to read the rest of Ken Lerner's message.

On May 8th Ken Lerner wrote to ask people who had contributed
to help preserve the Edwards House what they now want done with their contributions.  Click here to read Ken's letter.  All told, 45 people had donated $6,465.   As of July 5th, all funds held in the Edwards House Escrow account had been refunded or distributed to some other charity.  Click here to see the disposition of the Edwards House contributions.

The heritage Oak at 942 Maple Avenue had been cut down on Thursday, May 21st.

Goodbye Noble Oak

Adieu, noble Oak!

Postings on the Facebook page of Friends of the Edwards House provide a forum for
community members to share comments about this unfortunate outcome of our efforts to preserve the historic Edwards House and their thoughts about how we can move forward.

Edwards House

W. H. Edwards House As It Used to Look

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



 Village Council Meeting
Click Here for Agenda
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
7:00 PM, Council Chamber
Village Hall
801 Burlington Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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PDHA  Meeting
Thursday, August 13, 2015

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

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Highway Cleanup
  Next Highland Avenue

Saturday, August 15, 2015
8:30 to 11:00 AM

Please click here to fill out
the required Waiver Form.
Meet at 33rd Street
Lyman Woods Parking Lot.

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Wilderness & Wildflower Walks
Saturday, August 22, 2015
9 AM & 11 AM
Please click here to sign up:
 Register for Walk

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

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  2014 Annual Meeting

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Click here to learn about beekeeping in Lyman Woods.

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The 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 Monthly Electronics Recycling  
On the third Saturday of every month from 8am to 12pm, (except holiday weekends) electronics may be dropped off at the highway garage, 318 East Quincy Street, Westmont, Illinois 60559.

For further information, please call Downers Grove Township Highway Department at (630) 719-6625.

Information about current the Downers Grove village recycling services can be found on the Village's garbage and recycling page.

Last updated 7/23/2015