Phase One Development Improvements at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve

A new entrance and other improvements will enhance visitors’ experiences at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve.

Overview

Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park features the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s largest recreational lake, 80-acre Mallard Lake. The lake is a popular spot for fishing which yields largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike.

To accommodate visitors, the District is working to provide better access to the preserve and improve some amenities. It will construct a new preserve entrance on Schick Road, which will include bicycle lanes and storm water detention basins for collecting the road’s runoff. With the addition of 75-parking spaces, a new, larger parking lot will accommodate 193 cars, with four of them reserved for handicapped access. To preserve the lake’s trail and shore area, the District will stabilize its north shoreline, which will include a wave break to dissipate waves on the shore. A boardwalk for bird-watching will be constructed near the lake’s south area. Native vegetation will also be planted to restore the shore area, and a limestone trail will link the newly constructed areas and amenities.

History

The area known as Mallard Lake Forest Preserve is located on the Valparaiso Moraine, a ridgeline left behind by the Wisconsin Glacier’s retreat into Lake Michigan 10,000 years ago. During the 1950s, gravel and peat were mined from the area. In 1956, the Forest Preserve District received a 111-acre land donation at the site to create Mallard Lake Forest Preserve. During the 1960s, the District purchased several large areas which enlarged the preserve.

In 1974, DuPage County’s need for solid-waste disposal prompted the District to establish a landfill at the forest preserve. Landfill operations at the site ceased in 1999.

The improvements will provide greater access to the preserve.

Status

After securing permits, the District awarded a contract to complete development improvements at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in April 2009. Construction began that May. Although construction is complete, the Board of Commissioners voted to keep the forest preserve closed until seeding of the newly developed area is established. The preserve will re-open August 20, 2010.

Funding

The District allocated approximately $2 million for Mallard Lake Forest Preserve’s Phase One Development improvements from the Mallard Lake Landfill Expense Fund, non-tax money generated from landfill royalties. The Landfill Advisory Committee, formed by a court-ordered consent decree, established the site-specific improvements.

New preserve entrance on Schick Road, parking lot, shoreline improvements, boardwalk and trail.

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