Network to Freedom: Building UGRR Connections

On Saturday, September 23 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Museum Campus, the Downers Grove Park District will celebrate recognition of the 1846 Blodgett House as a significant historic site in the National Park Service's Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. You may register for this event by clicking here: Network to Freedom: Building UGRR Connections

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Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve Wildflower Walk

Join naturalist Lance Herning for a wildflower walk in the Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve on Monday morning, September 25. Please click for details and to register for this popular outing.

                                                          Prairie Nature

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Long-range Plan Adopted with Environmental Action

On Tuesday, September 5, the Downers Grove Village Council formally adopted the Long-range Plan for the next two years with several action items of interest to PDHA.

First and very significantly, a Village Environmental Sustainability Plan is to be prepared with the assistance of a revived Environmental Commission and a soon to be hired staff person with environmental expertise. This Sustainability Plan is to be developed in conjunction with a revised Village Comprehensive Plan and other plans, including a revised bikeway and pedestrian plan. In addition, the long-range plan includes a review of village tree planting policies and practices, and consideration of a private tree protection ordinance. The titles and expected work schedule for these items are summarized in the chart below, and full descriptions may be found at 2023-2025 Long Range Plan.

2023-25 Action Items

The long-range plan was adopted following an extensive public input process in which PDHA participated along with Greener Grove, the DG Bicycle Club, and other organizations and individuals. It was adopted by a 6 to 1 vote. Multiple Commissioners specifically asked for our continued involvement in the process and there will be many opportunities for input going forward, especially as to what will be included in the Sustainability Plan. It will be based in part on the Greenest Region Compact which the Village joined earlier this year.

All in all a good outcome including initiatives we have sought for years, but of course only the beginning of a long process.

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Memorials For Betty Cheever & Nan Newlon

Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance has created memorials to honor former Village of Downers Grove Mayor Betty Cheever and the Village's former Public Works Director Nan Newlon.

Betty Cheever is being honored for her lifetime of civic leadership. Betty was active in the League Betty Cheeverof Women Voters, serving as President of
                                                          Plaquethe Downers-Grove-Woodridge-Lisle Chapter during 1969-1973, as well as serving as a judge of elections for many years.  Betty chaired the Downers Grove Plan Commission before being elected as Downers Grove's Mayor, 1983-1999. As Mayor, Betty Cheever played a key role in achieving public ownership of the Lyman Woods Preserve. Dedication of Betty Cheever's memorial Buttonbush and plaque at the Downers Grove Public Library took place on Saturday, September 10, which would have been Betty's 94th birthday.

Nan Newlon, Public Works Director from 2009 to 2019, emphasized environmental sustainability in the  Village's public works, pioneering many green initiativNan's Treees such as solar panels in village facilities, green fleet of hybrid and Compressed-Natural-Gas vehicles, rain gardens and pollinator gardens, recycling events, and sale events for rain barrels and native trees. Through her efforts, the Village receNan Newlonived numerous awards for good planning and environmentally friendly practices.  A dedication ceremony was held on May 22 for Nan Newlon's Shingle Oak tree along with her memorial plaque in the parkway adjoining the playground & naturalized stormwater management area in the multipurpose park at 2nd Street & Cumnor Avenue. 

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Downers Grove's Latest Landmark

Congratulations to Nancy and Gordon Goodman!

On February 1st the Downers Grove Village Council unanimously approved local landmark recognition for their 1954 ranch home located at 5834 Middaugh Avenue. Gordon is a founder and longtime director of PDHA. 5834

Both the house itself and the role played by homes like this one in the Village’s post-war expansion are extensively documented in their landmark application where  an original 5834
                                                          Middaugh in
                                                          1950s architectural drawing for their home is compared to a Polaroid of the house when it was first built and to the home as it looks today.

The home is a classic Mid-century Modern Ranch, with Prairie style elements such as ribbon windows and a wide chimney. It also exemplifies a period of rapid growth for Downers Grove in the 1950s, a decade in which the population of Downers Grove increased by 78%. Downers Grove's residential 5834
                                                          Middaugh developments during the 1950s significantly transformed what had been a small, historically rural village into a substantially larger and more diverse community.

The Goodmans purchased their home from John and Doris Mochel in 1965 and have requested that this new local landmark be known as the Mochel-Goodman Home.