JOIN A RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY AND CELEBRATION OF NEW FACILITIES AT BLACKWELL FOREST PRESERVE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 7, 2012
Contact: Bonnie Olszewski, Forest Preserve District Public Affairs Specialist, 630-871-6402
Johnna Kelly, DuPage County Public Information Officer, 630-407-6022
Together, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and DuPage County will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. highlighting two new facilities at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville — the Urban Stream Research Center and an archery range and recreational complex. A variety of family-friendly activities will follow, and residents are invited to explore these new amenities.
Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. applauded the collaboration that supported the creation of the new facilities. “These cooperative projects are true testimonies to what can be accomplished when agencies work together, and I know they will leave a lasting legacy benefitting our community,” he said.
The Urban Stream Research Center — the only facility of its kind in Illinois — is an innovative location for aquatic research. Forest Preserve District staff will use the new facility to monitor, raise and reintroduce native mussels and nongame fish to local waters. Universities and conservation agencies will also utilize the facility for projects covering a variety of disciplines.
The $1.7 million project was funded through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The grant was secured by the DuPage County Stormwater Management Division and administered by the County in partnership with the Forest Preserve District. DuPage County also provided project oversight during the building’s construction.
DuPage County Stormwater Committee Chairman Jim Zay said the new facility will advance aquatic research in DuPage County and the state of Illinois. “Given all the stream restoration work DuPage County engages in, the Stormwater Management Division saw the need to better understand the reintroduction of native species,” said Zay. “This new facility provides us the opportunity for further education and reintroduction of these species to DuPage County waterways.”
County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said the research center will help preserve the county’s natural resources. “DuPage County’s focus on local stream restoration is important to the quality of life of our residents,” he said. “The research center will help us not only learn more about these waterways but also how to maintain and improve them for future use.”
As part of opening-weekend celebrations, visitors can join guided tours of the Urban Stream Research Center on Aug. 18 and 19 between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to see the special laboratory space and discover the many possibilities for valuable research projects.
The ribbon-cutting also marks the opening of Blackwell’s new archery and recreation complex. One of the few public ranges in Chicagoland, the archery facility offers over 35 targets within three different spaces — a beginner area with eight lanes, an advanced area with 11 lanes, and an interactive range with two-dimensional targets hidden in natural vegetation.
Other new recreational amenities at the site include a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier on Sand Pond and a 3-acre picnic area with a 50-person picnic shelter. A new trailhead connects to Blackwell’s existing 9-mile trail system, and parking is available for over 100 cars. The archery range and recreation complex was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program.
“The new recreational enhancements at Blackwell will leave a legacy of outdoor enjoyment by providing places for visitors to hone their archery skills, toss in a fishing line, hit the trails and picnic with family and friends,” Pierotti said.
Opening festivities at the recreational complex include free archery and fishing open houses on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants can try their hand at both sports with guidance from experienced instructors, and equipment will be included. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For information on these open houses, call 630-933-7248.
To reach the archery area and Urban Stream Research Center, visitors should travel through Blackwell’s main entrance on Butterfield Road one mile east of Route 59. They should turn at the first left along the preserve’s roadway. The ribbon-cutting will take place at the picnic shelter.
To learn more about the Urban Stream Research Center or the archery and recreational improvements at Blackwell Forest Preserve, visit the “Plans and Projects” page of the Forest Preserve District’s website at dupageforest.org/DistrictNews/PlansAndProjects/.
News Release Office of Public Affairs
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
3S580 Naperville Road • Wheaton, IL 60189-8761 • 630.871.6406 • Fax 630.871.6428 • TTY 800.526.0857