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Local

Making way for greenery in downtown Sycamore 'gateway'

SYCAMORE – A vacant building and shed near the corner of state Route 64 and Airport Road were demolished Tuesday to make way for a livelier, greener space.

Dan Gibble, Sycamore Park District executive director, said the district bought the one-acre triangular property near the head of the Great Western Trail earlier this year with the goal to “beautify” the area.

“The east side of Sycamore is really vibrant, and we wanted to add to that,” Gibble said.

City crews demolished the building, which has been occupied by a gas station and various shops in past years but has been vacant for at least five years, and the DeKalb County Forest Preserve District will landscape the space, Gibble said.

City Manager Brian Gregory said public works crews have also been working in the area to install storm sewers underground in preparation for the bike path installation that will take place later in the fall.

The collaborative landscaping project contributes to the city’s initiative to improve upon “gateway” areas leading into downtown, such as the Route 64 corridor connecting Sycamore to St. Charles, Gregory said.

“We want to be welcoming and put our best foot forward for residents coming home or visitors coming into the community,” Gregory said.

He added that the scenery will benefit not just motorists, but also walkers, joggers and bikers.

The project is also an example of government agencies working together to enhance the community and accomplish the city’s comprehensive plan, Gregory said.

Gibble said the park district will be in charge of maintaining the land after landscaping is finished. The landscaping could include native grasses and trees and will likely begin in the fall, he said.

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