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November 3, 2000

Governor Uses Eight-Stop Tour to Announce Projects That Protect Open Land and Enhance Quality of Life


SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan this week visited eight Illinois communities to announce a total of $76.7 million in projects to protect precious open space and acquire and develop new hiking and bicycling trails throughout Illinois.

Ryan made the stops to announce regional environmental grants funded through the Open Lands Trust, the Department of Natural Resources' Bicycle Path Grant program and the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.

"It is no secret that urbanization is consuming open space, farmland, wildlife habitat, recreational areas and natural land faster than we can preserve it," Ryan said. "That's why my administration initiated the Illinois Open Land Trust Program - to preserve those dwindling resources while there is still time to do so."

"Through the ITEP program and the bike path grant program we are providing funding to communities for projects they would not be able to afford on their own.

"Bike paths and trails are very, very popular. They provide families with safe places to have fun together and they encourage us to get out and improve our health through exercise."

The Governor announced a total of 92 projects through the OLT program (15 projects); Bike Path program (26 projects) and ITEP program (51 projects).

Governor Ryan's Open Land Trust initiative, the largest land acquisition program in state history, is providing $160 million over four years for land purchases and improvements to protect the state's most precious natural resources. The grants announced this week will protect 2,265 acres of natural lands for generations to come.

"Preserving our open lands, our precious natural resources and our native wildlife is vital to giving every Illinois citizen a safe and healthy environment," Governor Ryan said.

Bicycle path and trails grants are funded through two related programs. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers the state's bicycle path grant program, which was begun with Gov. Ryan was Lt. Governor. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) administers the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, a federally funded program providing bike paths, pedestrian trails and other projects that offer transportation options other than traditional highway and mass transit facilities.

The following projects were all announced by Governor Ryan during the course of his three-day, eight-stop environmental fly-around:

Open Land Trust Program - $19.4 million for 15 projects

Champaign County Forest Preserve District
$2 million to acquire 358 acres of scenic river corridor floodplain containing two large lakes along the Sangamon River in Champaign County. The site development plan calls for a 2.2 mile multi-use interpretive recreational trail which will connect to two other multi-use trails in the county, a 2.0 mile interpretive hiking trail, a Sangamon River canoe access, a boat ramp and fishing pier on the 135 acre Sunset Lake, a picnic shelter, parking area and restrooms. The District will also convert shallow areas of the 30-acre Shadow Lake into a true wetland. The site is located immediately southwest of Mahomet.

Chicago Park District
$2 million to acquire five acres along the North Branch of the Chicago River east of the intersection of Foster Avenue and Pulaski Road. The expansion will ecologically connect Gompers and Eugene Field Parks. It extends the Gompers Park wetland and will also allow for a wildlife habitat and river overlook. There are two buildings on the site that will be removed. The project includes ecological restoration of these degraded "brownfield" sites.

Forest Preserve District of Cook County
$2 million to acquire 65 acres of the former Klehm Nursery at the intersection of Penny and Sutton Roads in northwestern Cook County. The parcel will be named after the late Walter Payton. The purchase will extend Spring Lake Preserve to the east and provide additional protection for the headwaters of Spring Creek. The project will preserve existing wetland habitat and allow for the restoration of former wetland areas. A trail system will also be developed providing access to the natural areas, allowing for wildlife observation and nature education.

Dundee Township
$1,967,700, to acquire 248 acres which includes the former Elmhurst-Chicago Stone gravel mine and a portion of the Bright Farm at the intersection of Sleepy Hollow and Boncosky Roads. The site is a critical component of the Jelkes Creek greenway. Restoration/recovery activities include the reestablishment of natural grades and contours, restoration of the dry gravel prairie vegetation and the establishment of native tallgrass prairie. A public access area will also be developed.

Geneva Park District
$487,500, to acquire a 22-acre addition to Peck Farm, located on the corner of Kaneville Road and Fabyan Parkway. Enhancement of the site will include prairie restoration and habitat demonstration plots.

Jo Daviess County
$604,000, to acquire 206 acres at the intersection of U.S. Route 20 and Powderhouse Hill Road. The property serves as the primary view shed for the town of Galena and the driftless area landscape. The site is also adjacent to Horseshoe Mound, an IDNR Natural Area inventory site. Development will include scenic overlooks, interpretive trails, picnic areas, a parking area and the restoration of the bluff prairie.

Kane County Forest Preserve District
$2 million to acquire the 121-acre Carson's Slough and a 292-acre portion of the Thornton Farm. Carson's Slough is located on the southwest corner of Denny and Norris Roads. The Slough contains habitat for at least five state threatened/endangered bird species and will be developed with a picnic area, observation deck and small parking area. The Thornton Farm site is approximately ½ mile east of Route 56 on Hankes Road. Thornton Farm is an integral part of the Blackberry Creek watershed and site enhancement includes wetland restoration and the re-planting of an oak-hickory woods. A bicycle path connection to the Gilman Trail is also planned.

Kendall County Forest Preserve District
$127,800, to acquire 22 acres consisting of an 11 acre wooded bluff savanna and an 11-acre island in the Fox River. The site is approximately 3/4 mile downstream from the Village of Yorkville and is adjacent to a 20-acre parcel owned by the village. Enhancement of the bluff includes savanna and shoreline restoration, nature trails and a public access area. The island will be restored to a tall grass prairie.

Lake County Forest Preserve District
$2 million to acquire a 270-acre site at the intersection of Gilmer and Erhart Roads northeast of Wauconda. This 270-acre property is part of a larger 403-acre parcel, which will be called Ray Lake Farm. The 270 acres contains three wetlands, a large woodlands and agricultural land that will be restored to prairie. Enhancement of the site will include habitat and wetlands restoration, trails, picnic areas and parking.

McHenry County Conservation District
$1,467,500 to acquire two parcels of land totaling 180 acres of mixed hardwood and upland and wetland complex in the city of Woodstock. Ninety-four acres are at the headwaters of the Kishwaukee River, which contains the longest stretch of top quality stream in the state. Another 86 acres are at McConnell Woods, comprised of oak savanna and a wetland fen complex, which serves as a water recharge source for the Dufield pond wetland. These acquisitions are part of a larger effort to preserve the greenway in the upper reaches of two separate watersheds that originate in Woodstock, the Kishwaukee and the Nippersink. (This project is funded with $1,299,245 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program, and an $168,255 OLT grant).

Northbrook Park District
$2 million to acquire a 14-acre parcel south of Illinois Road. The 14 acres is part of a larger 60-acre parcel being acquired by the District. A portion of the site is adjacent to the west fork of the north branch of the Chicago River. The District will renovate existing wetlands and a 1.2-acre Mesic prairie planting area is planned. A trail/pathway system will also be developed through the site.

Village of Orland Park
$1,950,000, to acquire 28 parcels of property totaling 48 acres. The properties are located on the corner of 159th Street and Will-Cook Road. The site contains several endangered bird species and an endangered sedge plant. The Village will restore the existing wetlands, a native hickory/oak savanna and three ponds. Future development includes a nature center, nature trails, an overlook, a picnic area and parking.

City of Rock Island
$293,000, to acquire four properties totaling five acres along the Mississippi River. The properties are on the eastern end of the Sylvan Slough Waterfront Development Area. The City will demolish deteriorating buildings on the properties and create a demonstration and education area using native plants. A parking area is planned off Third Street and a bicycle trail will run along the waterfront.

St. Clair County
$150,000, to acquire 98 acres three miles southwest of Mascoutah at the intersection of Brickyard and Groedeon Roads. The site is adjacent to Silver Creek and contains bottomland hardwood swamp, emergent marsh and scrub-shrub wetland and was targeted by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as a Grade A area. Initial development includes wetland restoration, an interpretive kiosk, a loop hiking trail and boardwalk and parking.

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
$ 417,000, to acquire 318 acres at two sites within the Sugar River Corridor. The parcels are four miles northeast of Durand and 15 miles northwest of Rockford and will preserve habitat for endangered animal and bird species and rare plant species. Site enhancement includes the restoration of Swamp White Oak Savanna area, the expansion of wetlands and pathway.

Bicycle Path Program (DNR) - $4.1 million for 26 projects

Bolingbrook Park District (DNR)
$200,000, to develop approximately 2 miles of bicycle path connecting the DuPage River Greenway bicycle path to the Lily Cache bicycle path.

Village of Bourbonnais (DNR)
$118,900, to develop a 1.2-mile bicycle path connecting the existing Perry Farm/Kankakee Riverfront Trail to the eastern edge of Kankakee River State Park.

Chicago Park District (DNR)
$200,000, to widen approximately 2 miles of the Lakefront Bikeway between 22nd and 39th Streets.

City of Chicago (DNR)
$200,000, to develop under-bridge connections at Peterson Avenue and at Lincoln Avenue which extends the existing trail at Legion Park to the Lincoln Village Shopping Center Riverwalk.

City of Eldorado (DNR)
$25,000, to acquire 2.2 miles of the former CSX rail corridor from Ill. Rt. 142 to Borland Road.

City of Fairbury (DNR)
$143,100, to construct an additional 1.1 miles to the existing one-mile trail extending it east to Prairie Central High School and Indian Creek.

Fox Valley Park District, Aurora (DNR)
$200,000, to renovate 4.9 miles of the V.L. Gilman Trail westward from Montgomery Road to Barnes Road.

City of Joliet (DNR)
$200,000, to develop a 4.9-mile, multi-use segment of the Joliet Junction Trail from Theodore Street to U.S. Route 6 where it will connect to the I & M Canal State Trail.

Kane County Forest Preserve District (DNR)
$200,000, to realign a 0.25-mile section of the V. L. Gilman Trail and to construct a bridge over Ill. Rt. 56 northeast of Sugar Grove.

Lake County Department of Transportation (DNR)
$200,000, to renovate a 2.8-mile section of the Skokie Valley Trail between West Park Avenue and Lake Cook Road.

Lake County Department of Transportation (DNR)
$125,000, to construct a 0.6-mile bicycle path along Washington Street from Hainsville Road to just west of Lakeside Drive.

Lake County Forest Preserve District (DNR)
$200,000, to construct a 4.02-mile trail from Ill. Rt. 120 at the Riverhill Forest Preserve to Washington Street in Gurnee.

Village of Lincolnshire (DNR)
$192,500, to construct a 0.3-mile path along the east side of Riverwoods Road from Farrington Drive to the village's new North Park.

Madison County Transit District (DNR)
$200,000, to construct a 7-mile bicycle path from Union Street in Edwardsville west to Wanda Road.

Madison County Transit District (DNR)
$200,000, to develop the first segment of the 15-mile Schoolhouse Trail, from Ill. Rt. 203 east to Ill. Rt. 162.

Village of Manteno (DNR)
$31,500, to acquire a 0.5-mile corridor (1.72 acres) between Division Street and Heritage Park for the future development of a 1.9-mile bicycle trail.

Oswegoland Park District (DNR)
$200,000, to develop a 2.4-mile trail along Grove Road.

Rock Island County Forest Preserve District (DNR)
$101,000, to construct the 4.5-mile second phase of the Great River Trail.

Roscoe Township (DNR)
$47,000, to acquire 1.5 miles (18 acres) of abandoned railroad right of way from McCurry Road to Ill. Rt. 251 north of Rockton Road extending the Stone Bridge Trail.

Springfield Park District (DNR)
$55,000, to construct a 2.5-mile trail from the corner of Stanford Avenue and Fox Bridge Road to the Lost Bridge Trail.

St. Charles Park District (DNR)
$160,000, to construct a bicycle bridge over Randall Road at Silver Glen Road connecting the Fox River Trail, Mid County Trail and the Great Western Trail.

Village of Villa Park (DNR)
$200,000, to upgrade the existing 1.02-mile Great Western Trail from Addison Road to Villa Avenue.

Wheaton Park District (DNR)
$200,000, to construct a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad which will connect the Illinois Prairie Path to the DuPage County Fairgrounds, Graf Park and Monroe Middle School.

Will County Forest Preserve District (DNR)
$200,000, to develop a 2.9-mile bike trail within a portion of the Lake Renwick Nature Preserve.

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District (DNR)
$107,800, to construct a 0.9-mile path to link the existing Bauer Bridge Trail (part of the Grand Illinois Trail) with the district's headquarters.

Winnebago County Highway Department (DNR)
$200,000, to rehabilitate 37 bridges along the 28.0- mile Pecatonica Prairie Path.

Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (IDOT)
$53.2 million for 51 projects

Chicago Department of Transportation
$2,089,000 to realign and improve 1.25 mile of the Lakefront Trail including a pedestrian overpass along Lake Shore Drive from Belmont Avenue to Fullerton Avenue (IDOT).

Chicago Park District
$252,000 to improve .80-mile of a bike trail on Marquette Drive from Coast Guard Drive to Stony Island Avenue (IDOT).

City of Chicago
$8,554,000 to rebuild to historic façade on Wacker Drive from Lake Street to Michigan Avenue along the Chicago River (IDOT).

Village of Oak Park
$80,000 to rehabilitate a pedestrian bridge including a new pedestrian ramp, curb cuts and ramp repairs along Home Avenue over I-290 (IDOT).

City of Wilmette
$90,000 to construct a pedestrian crossing including a .25-mile bike path along Sheridan Road from Central Avenue to North Shore Channel Bridge connecting with existing paths through Gillson Park (IDOT).

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
$1,873,000 to construct a 2.9-mile bikeway including a pedestrian underpass on Commonwealth Edison right-of-way from Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry County to Dowell Road in Lake County (IDOT).

Village of Grayslake
$412,000 to construct a 1-mile bikeway along US 45 from Center Street to Illinois 120 and along Center Street from Buckingham Drive to US45 (IDOT).

Lake County Division of Transportation
$960,000 to construct the North Shore Bike Path pedestrian overpass on Butterfield Road at the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad south of Illinois 176 in Libertyville (IDOT).

Lake County Division of Transportation
$521,000 to revitalize the village of Long Grove's downtown streetscape along Old McHenry Road at Robert Parker Coffin Road (IDOT).

Village of Barrington
$1,243,000 to improve the Village Center Streetscape including landscaping, lighting and sidewalks on Main Street and Hough Street at various locations (IDOT).

Cook County Forest Preserve District
$1,314,000 to construct the 5.6-mile Paul Douglas/Crabtree Bike Trail including a pedestrian overpass within the Paul Douglas and Crabtree Forest Preserves in Schaumburg, Palatine and South Barrington (IDOT).

Village of Brookfield
$97,000 to rehabilitate the historic train depot on Brookfield Avenue at Forest Avenue for continual use as a museum.

Cook County Forest Preserve District
$1,956,000 to construct a portion of the 19.3-mile Centennial Bike Trail including a pedestrian overpass along the Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor from Lemont to Lyons (IDOT).

Village of Oak Brook
$778,000 to construct a .9-mile bike path along 31st Street from Concord Drive to Jorie Boulevard (IDOT).

Wheaton Park District
$1,881,000 to construct a pedestrian overpass on Manchester Road from Lincoln Marsh/ Winfield Creek Greenway over the Union Pacific Railroad in Wheaton (IDOT).

Village of South Holland
$440,000 to construct a 2-mile bike trail along State Street from Vincennes Road to 158th Street (IDOT).

City of Kankakee
$329,000 to improve the streetscape including lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping along Court Street from US 57 to St. Joseph Street and along Schuyler Street from Oak Street to Merchant Street (IDOT).

City of Delavan
$313,000 to rehabilitate the historic bridge on Third Street from Pine Street to Elm Street (IDOT).

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
$1,546,000 to construct a 12-mile extension of the Hennepin Canal Bikeway along the canal from Illinois 92 to the canal mainstem north of Sheffield (IDOT).

Dixon Park District
$216,000 to construct a 6.8-mile Lowell Trail along various streets within Dixon (IDOT).

City of Freeport
$400,000 to improve the streetscape including lighting, sidewalks and landscaping along Stephenson Street from Rose Avenue to Illinois 26 and Galena Avenue from Illinois 26 to South Street (IDOT).

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
$310,000 for preliminary engineering of a 10.25-mile bike trail at various locations connecting the Great River Trail, Mississippi Palisade State Park and Upper Mississippi River National Refuge near Savanna (IDOT).

City of Moline
$163,000 to construct .25-mile Mill Town Bike Path from Arsenal Bridge south to Mill Town Street then west to 15th Street and north to the Great River Trail (IDOT).

Rock Island County
$802,000 to construct a .75-mile bikeway on the American Discovery Trail along the Government Bridge from the Great River Trail in Rock Island to the Riverfront Trail in Iowa (IDOT).

City of Savanna
$1,532,000 to construct a 2.9-mile extension of the Great River Trail including a pedestrian overpass along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad from Chicago Avenue in Savanna to Franklin Stransky Airport (IDOT).

Winnebago County Highway Department
$1,742,000 to construct the 3.8-mile Perryville Path-Southwest Connection including a pedestrian overpass along Bell School Road from Cherry Valley Path at Vandiver Road in Cherry Valley to Perryville Road and Argus Drive (IDOT).

McLean County
$255,000 to conduct Phase I engineering of a 17.6-mile bikeway along Historic Route 66 from McLean to Towanda (IDOT).

City of East Peoria
$734,000 to construct a .28-mile Riverside Park Trailhead including lighting, landscaping and sidewalks on Riverside Drive over the Illinois River near the Robert Michel Bridge (IDOT).

Illinois Department of Transportation District 5
$448,000 to construct new paved shoulders on Illinois 133 from Chesterville to US 45 in Arcola (IDOT).

City of Champaign
$200,000 to improve the Illinois Terminal entryway viaducts including lighting and sidewalks at Main Street, University Avenue, Chester Street and Logan Street (IDOT).

City of Marshall
$400,000 to renovate the downtown streetscape including sidewalks, lighting and landscaping at various locations on Michigan Avenue, Archer Avenue, 5th Street, 6th Street and Locust Street (IDOT).

City of Mt. Zion
$745,000 to construct a 2-mile bike trail along various right-of-way from Goodwin Park to Spitler Woods State Park and connecting to the Grade School (IDOT).

City of Springfield
$11,520,000 to rehabilitate the Historic Union Station and improve the streetscape including parking, landscaping and sidewalks at Madison Street from 5th Street to 6th Street (IDOT).

City of Mt. Carmel
$176,000 to construct a 1.4-mile bike path along Oak Street from 9th Street to College Drive and along Poplar Street from Oak Street to 13th Street (IDOT).

City of Vandalia
$1,709,000 to restore the historic brick streets and improve the streetscape along Gallatin Street from 3rd Street to 7th Street (IDOT).

Illinois Department of Transportation District 8
$428,000 to rehabilitate the Historic Little Mary s River Covered Bridge along Illinois 150 north of Chester (IDOT).

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
$130,000 to construct a 2.8-mile bike trail connecting the Vadalabene Nature Trail to the campus (IDOT).

City of Belleville
$580,000 to improve the streetscape including lighting, sidewalks and landscaping along North Charles Street from East Main Street to Scheel Street and along Scheel Street from Charles Street to Benton Street (IDOT).

City of Collinsville
$422,000 to improve the downtown streetscape including lighting, landscaping and sidewalks along Main Street from Combs Avenue to Vandalia Street (IDOT).

City of Edwardsville
$158,000 to rehabilitate the Historic Nickel Plate Station including fencing on LeClaire Street (IDOT).

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
$305,000 to improve the streetscape including landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and fencing along South 6th Street from Walnut Street to Railroad Avenue and Railroad Avenue from 6th Street to 5th Street (IDOT).

Village of Wood River
$74,000 to improve the streetscape with landscaping along Illinois 3, Illinois 111 and Illinois 143 at various locations (IDOT).

City of Carterville
$118,000 to construct a 1.02-mile bike trail along Greenbrier Road from Grand Avenue to Illinois 13 (IDOT).

City of Golconda
$195,000 to rehabilitate Powerhouse building along Levee Road on the Ohio River for use as an interpretative/visitors center for the Ohio River Scenic Byway (IDOT).

City of Harrisburg
$114,000 to construct a 1-mile bike trail along Feazel Street form US 45 to Barnett Street and along Small Street from Sahara Street to Veterans Drive connecting to existing Harrisburg Bike Trail and the Tunnel Hill State Trail (IDOT).

Village of Geneva
$400,000 to improve the streetscape including landscaping, sidewalks and fencing along Historic Third Street from Crescent Place to Hamilton Street (IDOT).

Kane County Division of Transportation
$368,000 to construct a .26-mile extension of the South Street Bike Trail with a pedestrian underpass under Randall Road in Geneva (IDOT).

Kane County Forest Preserve District
$1,376,000 to construct a pedestrian overpass including a bikeway connection on the V. L. Gilman Trail over Illinois 56 and Blackberry Creek west of Aurora (IDOT).

Plainfield Township Park District
$251,000 to conduct Phase I engineering for the 11.3-mile DuPage River Trail along the DuPage River from 115th Street in Plainfield o Theodore Street in Joliet (IDOT).

Village of Oswego
$510,000 to construct the .62-mile Fox River/Waubonsee Creek Bike Path from Washington Street over the Fox River north along Hudson Crossing Park and Waubonsee Creek to the library, including lighting and landscaping (IDOT).

Village of Oswego
$1,696,000 to improve the downtown streetscape including sidewalks, lighting and landscaping at various locations in the historic district (IDOT).


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