| Planning for Walnut
Adjacent to Belmont Prairie Buffer
The Downers Grove Park
District is developing a long-term master plan for its Walnut Park
property. Walnut Park is a 19.6-acre
parcel of land on Walnut
Avenue adjacent to the
Belmont Prairie Buffer in the
northwest corner of Downers Grove, just south of
The Park District conducted an online Community Survey to obtain
input and has posted a summary of responses.
Members of the Heritage
Alliance participated in the survey and are encouraged by the
following Park District statement in a WALNUT PARK PROPERTY Q & A:
will the possible development of the Walnut Park property impact
the existing Belmont Prairie Nature Preserve and connected prairie
preservation is at the heart of the District's mission.
The Park District will continue to preserve and protect the Belmont
Prairie and prairie buffer. Any possible development of the Walnut Park
property would carefully avoid any potential hydrological, ecological
or other adverse impacts on the prairie and buffer. Protecting the
buffer zone is required and any development on it must be approved by
the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
development of the
Walnut Park property could help the District to improve the health and
accessibility of the buffer and prairie, assist with raising awareness
and provide ways to educate visitors about this treasured natural area
in our community.
Chair Ken Lerner wrote to explain the organization's thinking
for Walnut Park. Ken's letter emphasizes PDHA's advocacy for protection
of the Belmont
Prairie, a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve, and its dedicated
Buffer. The letter begins as follows:
"Pierce Downer’s Heritage
Alliance appreciates the Park District’s commitment to seeking public
input as part of long-term planning for this property.
"We have a few recommendations as detailed below. The unifying theme is
that in developing plans for its Walnut Ave. holdings, the Park
District balance active and passive recreation priorities.
"Since the Walnut Park area is adjacent to the Belmont Prairie Buffer,
planning and any eventual construction should be conducted with that in
mind, to avoid any hydrological or other adverse impact on the buffer
read the letter from Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance in full please
* * * * *
COVID-19 and the
A visit to a local
park or forest preserve can be a nice break during the COVID-19
emergency. A brisk
walk or run can be a good way to get your steps in. Local outdoor
recreation areas are
generally open for hiking, walking and running, with some exceptions.
Downers Grove Park District
–– The Park District
has announced TIER 4 MITIGATION MEASURES
beginning Thursday, February 4.
updates at dgparks.org/news/together-again
County Forest Preserves –– The
preserves are open including parking lots, trails, and off-leash
dog areas. Buildings and restrooms are closed.
At some facilities, the buildings are closed but grounds and
surrounding areas are open: Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center,
Mayslake Peabody Estate, and St. James Farm.
and updates at dupageforest.org/coronavirus
* * * * *
inside the 1846 Blodgett House started on Saturday, December
14, during last year's Merry and Bright celebration
at the Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Avenue.
to community-wide support the 1846 Pioneer Blodgett House has come a
during the past decade, well beyond its initial journey from Randall
Street onto the Park District's Museum Campus. Substantial progress
toward completion of the building's interior has been achieved in 2019
as a result of two major grants. The house now looks really great !
Come see the 1846 Blodgett House before long. Starting February 20, 2021 tours are again
being offered on the third Saturday of the month. The tours had been
mid-2020. Please consult the
Park District's registration page for information about 1846
Blodgett House tours and other interesting activities.
* * * * *
& Wally Brown Honored
The village council candidate conversation on March 19th addressed
historic preservation and
tree preservation policies
among other issues of interest. You can
view the converstion by clicking here.
Jane Amorosi 1923-2021
Downer's Heritage Alliance notes with regret
the passing of one of our founding
directors, Jane Amorosi. Jane was always a strong advocate for
open space. We are grateful to Jane for her role in
safeguarding Lyman Woods as a publicly-owned Forest Preserve, a
beautiful and high-quality natural area in Downers Grove. The
Preserve today serves as a recreational and nature-education
destination for the
entire region. Please click here to read Jane's obituary.
We also gratefully remember several other past champions of our
community's natural heritage.