Below is a list of items discussed at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County meeting in February of 2021 compiled by Connie Schmidt and edited by Wendy Vernon.
Golf Operations: A video from GolfScene.com featuring the Preserve at Oak Meadow and narrated by Ed Stevenson was shared with commissioners. It gives a great view of the new clubhouse, the course and special amenities like “The Perch” a luxury snack house with craft beer and custom sandwiches. Dan Hebreard, Forest Preserve President spoke of the natural benefits of flood storage and solar use on the golf course barn. There is a new DuPage Golf Use app offered by the district to find tee times at one source. Even with a total shutdown in April due to COVID-19, and limited use in later months, and after the expenses were deducted, the operating profit was in excess of $1 Million for 2020 for the three courses. In addition, benefits from storm water management were noted. May was the wettest May in recorded Chicago history. Because of the changes in the configuration of the open space, flooding of the course as well as local homes and businesses was spared. Other PR pieces this year included Golf 360 featuring the Preserve at Oak Meadows and Maple Meadows being featured in the Daily Herald.
Legal Services: The District has general counsel that attends meetings and offers advice and counsel. A special attorney is occasionally required for specific work. Fees have been outlined for such needs.
Mallard North Landfill: The District hires a management company to handle a special operation where leachate is generated from the landfill and distributed to rows of trees through an automated system. The popular and willow trees consume the moisture from the leachate. There are 13 miles of irrigation tubing servicing the area. This system will pay for itself in about 8 years. (2027) A 15-acre forest has been established as the river and a trail pass adjacent to the landfill. Mallard North is the largest Phyto-Utilization system in North America. As a proactive practice, groundwater monitoring continues in the preserve as best practice to be sure no groundwater is impacted by the system or the landfill.
Website Redesign: Data was collected a year ago from user groups, surveys, focus groups and community relations feedback to determine the district’s website usage, as the redesign project began. New highlights on the site include trail conditions, interactive trail maps, and preserve and activities finder. Special events and activities will be more prominently displayed. Volunteer involvement will also be a focus. The expectation is the new site will be rolled out in June 2021. Tony Martinez assured commissioner, Jeff Gahris, that there would be a test and trial period prior to complete roll out of the site.
Deep Quarry Lake ~ Zebra Mussel Filter: This story is featured on the FPDDC Website home page. It is a coordinated effort by Grounds and Natural Resources and Trails and Streams crews. Zebra Mussels are an invasive species. They are a problem because they filter out designed plankton that other species depend on. They multiply voraciously. We have these mussels in 3 of our district lakes. An elaborate filter of sand, gravel and tubing was created by district crews to prevent the mussels from traveling to the nearby river.
East Branch Trail: There were multiple public comments to not place the proposed East Branch Trail along Rt. 53 but to keep the trail originally proposed, along parks and more green space. Apparently, there was a meeting where this new plan was unveiled. Trail enthusiasts are keeping a watchful eye.