The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, City of Naperville and Naperville Park District were recently awarded first runner-up for an “Intergovernmental Cooperation Award” in the Illinois Association of Park District’s “Best of the Best” awards competition for the West Branch Riverway Trail in Naperville.
The West Branch Riverway Trail, which opened in July 2012, extends the West Branch Regional Trail north from Wil-O-Way Commons on Jefferson Avenue to just north of Ogden Avenue, where it joins an existing trail system in McDowell Grove Forest Preserve. The 0.9-mile paved trail extension proceeds through a railroad underpass north of Wil-O-Way Commons and through an underpass at Ogden Avenue. Not only does this trail connect a DuPage forest preserve to an urban area, but it also accommodates travel across the 23-mile West Branch Regional Trail, a trail system that runs north-south from Hanover Park to Will County.
“The West Branch Riverway Trail is a model project between the Forest Preserve District, City of Naperville and Naperville Park District to enhance outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and forest preserve visitors,” said Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. “The three agencies deserve recognition for their commitment toward working to acquire land, construct new trail links and maintain existing trails in DuPage County.” He continued, “The Forest Preserve District is honored that IAPD and our professional peers selected the West Branch Riverway Trail for an award.”
The IAPD annual “Best of the Best” awards program is designed to recognize agencies that have strengthened the park, recreation and conservation mission.
Established in 1915, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages over 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year, over 4.3 million visitors enjoy the District’s 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers, and scores of scheduled programs and events. To learn more about the West Branch Riverway Trail, visit dupageforest.org and the “Plans and Projects” section.