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Naperville
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Naperville’s park restoration projects include invasive tree removal

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Above / Look for signs of ongoing efforts by Naperville Park District to encourage healthy growth in natural areas.

Naperville Park District plans projects in several parks this fall and winter that aim to restore healthy natural areas with a diversity of plants and trees to support wildlife. The first step in the restoration process is to remove invasive trees, such as Bradford pear, and invasive shrubs, such as buckthorn. The removals allow space and sunlight for a variety of native species to thrive again.

Planned Naperville Park District Projects

  • Hobson West Ponds, 1047 S. West Street– The first phase of woody invasive removal took place in summer of 2022, and phase two is scheduled for winter.  Staff will clear remaining buckthorn, white mulberry, honeysuckle, white poplar, and pear trees throughout the natural area, with a focus around the north pond.
Look for signs of invasive plant removal along Naperville/Plainfield Road.
  • May Watts Park, 804 S. Whispering Hills Drive – Woody invasive plants, including black alder and pear trees, are being removed along the pond shoreline to better stabilize the area around the pond, minimize erosion, and enhance water quality. 
This photo of May Watts Park, Nov. 17, 2022, shows many invasive and/or dead trees already have been removed.

Invasive plants also will be removed from the hill near Whispering Hills Drive to create a healthy prairie ecosystem.

  • DuPage River Park, 808 Royce Road – This project will begin with removal of invasive shrubs and trees along the river shoreline and near a natural area known as a fen. Both areas will be restored with a seed mixture of native plants to protect the shoreline from erosion and promote a healthy, diverse ecosystem in both locations.
  • Knoch Knolls Park, 320 Knoch Knolls Road – Woody plants, including box elder trees and invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle, are being removed along the river shoreline to better stabilize the banks, minimize erosion, and enhance water quality in the river. Following removals, the area will be planted with a seed mixture of native plants to protect the shoreline from erosion and promote a healthy, diverse ecosystem.
  • Summerfield Lake Park, 2003 Skylane Drive – Invasive shrubs and trees, including sandbar willows and pear trees, are being removed along the pond shoreline to better stabilize the banks, minimize erosion, and enhance water quality in the pond. Following removals, the area will be planted with a seed mixture of native plants to protect the shoreline from erosion and promote a healthy, diverse ecosystem.

“These projects are part of ongoing park maintenance and the Park District’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Director of Parks Tim Quigley.

For more information, visit www.napervilleparks.org/restorationprojects.

Editor’s Note / Folks who enjoy walking the Riverwalk, especially from the Dr. Edward and Cecelia Moser Covered Bridge near Burger King to the Hillside Road bridge, also have noted the recent removal of invasive plants and dead trees along the DuPage River shoreline. Thanks to all volunteers and Naperville Park District crews who continually devote their efforts to the upkeep and maintenance of local parks and the great outdoors.

Though the local season for fountains along the Riverwalk usually ends Oct. 15, the Exchange Club Memories Fountain in Fredenhagen Park was off for another summer in 2022. Local elected officials will determine when/if funds will be available for the fountain to return, creating peaceful sounds for reflection in Fredenhagen Park.

As this community heads down the path during budget season, thanks also to local officials for taking time to pay attention to care and maintenance needs in Fredenhagen Park as well as all along the Riverwalk from the Jefferson Avenue Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge.

Property taxes are a primary source of funding for local government units and are administered and collected by local government officials. Watch to see how carefully locally-elected officials plan to appropriate and prioritize taxpayer funds to maintain the attractive amenities in this community for the enjoyment and public safety of all.

The winding brick path leads to the Farmers Plaza along Eagle Street. Right there is a tribute to former Riverwalk Commission Chairman Cliff Preston, a can-do volunteer who served the Riverwalk Commission for 17 years.

Enjoy Naperville parks and the Riverwalk 365 days a year!

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Naperville Park District
Naperville Park Districthttp://www.napervilleparks.org/
Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. An Illinois Distinguished Agency since 1994, the District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 137 parks and provides more than 1,500 recreational, arts and environmental programs and special events annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.

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