DeKALB – A preliminary plan to restore DeKalb’s 1.3-mile Nature Trail received some criticism from the DeKalb Park District Board on Thursday over the lack of trees and a need for better visualization of the end results.
Using input collected from two public hearings in June and 71 responses to an online survey, DeKalb-based Encap Inc., an ecological consulting firm, presented its plan, highlighting the various species it intends to incorporate and other design options.
Park board President Phil Young said he liked the various vegetation being used for the restoration, but had a problem with visualizing the changes Encap suggested.
“I think some of the maps are good, but a lot of them are just looking at black-and-white images,” Young said.
He added that it would be important to see more vegetation coverage and fewer prairie developments so the trail and the properties along it won’t be affected by the nearby Kishwaukee Country Club golf course.
The lack of trees in the plan also was at issue because ComEd restricts the height of trees being planted along the Nature Trail to 10 feet to prevent anything from interfering with its power lines.
Young said there now will be additional input from the board and district staff, and an updated plan will be requested.
After the meeting, the Park board received a $2,000 donation from the DeKalb Rotary Club, presented by Treasurer Sharon Tourville.
The money had come from donations to the Walk for the Trail event in May. About 50 people registered for this event and paid $25 toward the Nature Trail, Tourville said.
“We had a lot of support from the local residents and residents along the trail,” Tourville said. “Since it started, we were very pleased and hope to get more people next year. The Rotary Club is thinking about making the Nature Trail its signature project.”