Songbird Slough Trail Improvements

Songbird Slough provides storm-water management benefits.

Overview

As a result of increased visitation at Songbird Slough Forest Preserve in Itasca, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County began plans to provide a safe, aesthetically pleasing way for visitors to access the preserve. Only one access point existed at the preserve, and pedestrians and bicyclists shared entry with vehicles. Beginning in 2006, the Office of Planning began to draw plans for a 1.1-mile-long asphalt trail at the preserve, which will separate pedestrian traffic from the road and connect its main picnic area and parking lot to other area trails and the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, the trail will feature three informal rest stops with natural log benches for seating and landscaped, treed areas to provide shade.

The District has budgeted approximately $690,000 from yearly appropriated capital development funds to cover all design, permitting and construction costs associated with the proposed improvements.

History

Songbird Slough is a 391-acre preserve that acts as a regional storm-water detention facility. Containing a complement of natural and manmade wetlands and ponds and restored prairie and meadows, the preserve provides flood control benefits for its neighboring businesses and homes. Access to the preserve is currently limited to a 1.2-mile-long winding road, which begins on the preserve’s east side on Mill Street, and several degraded turf trails, which connect to the main parking lot and picnic area. Currently, no developed multipurpose trail exists at the preserve.

Status

The District awarded a construction contract during the fall of 2010. Construction will begin next spring, allowing cooperative weather conditions. It is anticipated all construction will be complete by fall of 2011.

The forest preserve will be closed April 1 through November 1, 2011. It will open pending turf establishment, which is anticipated by early winter of 2011.

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