The Forest Preserve District of Will County and the Naperville Park District have entered into an intergovernmental agreement to construct a trail that will connect the Forest Preserve’s Vermont Cemetery Nature Preserve to the Park District’s future site of Southwest Community Park and Tall Grass Greenway Trail.
In 2003, the Forest Preserve was awarded a grant of $1 million from the Caucus Open Land Trust (COLT). As part of the grant application, the Forest Preserve committed to create an access area to the Vermont Cemetery and to develop a trail connection to these two nearby Naperville properties.
The Forest Preserve is to begin developing site improvements to the Vermont Cemetery. These include a public access area off Normantown Road, an overlook of the cemetery, one mile of asphalt trail and 24 acres of prairie restoration.
The public access at Vermont Cemetery, with parking for as many as 21 vehicles, will enhance future trail linkages south along Normantown Road to the Village of Plainfield and west to the City of Aurora.
“The trail connection with the Vermont Cemetery will provide an important linkage to the area east of the Route 59 bridge, providing access and safe passage to the southwest campus that includes Frontier Sports Complex, Neuqua Valley High School and the 95th Street Library,” explained Mike Reilly, park board president. “Additionally, the project illustrates the great spirit of intergovernmental cooperation that we enjoy while effectively providing tangible benefits to our residents.”
The Forest Preserve will operate and maintain that portion of the trail from Vermont Cemetery to 248th Avenue in Naperville. The length of this trail segment is about 0.65 mile.
For its part, the Naperville Park District will reimburse the Forest Preserve for construction costs east of 248th Avenue to Tall Grass Drive and be responsible for maintaining this 0.4-mile section of the trail that will be on Park District property.
“This is a wonderful working agreement between the Forest Preserve and Naperville Park District,” said Cory Singer, president of the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners. “To connect together trail systems from different government jurisdictions benefits the public who will enjoy an expanded trail system made possible by this cooperative agreement.”