Submitted by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Representatives from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the city of Naperville and the Naperville Park District will join together for a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the West Branch Riverway Trail on Tuesday, July 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Wil-O-Way Commons, located at 1071 W. Jefferson Ave. in Naperville.
Members of the public are invited and encouraged to join in the ribbon-cutting for this recreational amenity. Parking for attendees will be available along Jefferson Avenue.
“The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County played integral roles in constructing the West Branch Riverway Trail and acquiring land for its development,” Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. said. “Not only is this the newest trail to 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 new trail segment extends the West Branch Regional Trail north from Wil-O-Way Commons on Jefferson Avenue to just north of Ogden Avenue, where it will join an existing trail system in McDowell Grove Forest Preserve. The 0.9-mile paved trail extension proceeds through a new railroad underpass north of Wil-O-Way Commons and also through a new underpass at Ogden Avenue. The West Branch Riverway Trail serves as a model project between multiple agencies designed to enhance the lives of residents and provide outdoor recreational opportunities for forest preserve visitors.
“Thanks to the cooperation and foresight of three governmental entities working together, Naperville residents and visitors have another way to enjoy the outdoors,” Mayor A. George Pradel said. “Families now have another option to walk, hike and bike together throughout Naperville. I look forward to seeing people use this trail for years to come.”
This trail extension furthers the mission of the 1992 West Branch Naperville Riverway Project Agreement, which set out to create a recreational public walkway throughout Naperville along sections of the West Branch of the DuPage River. As part of the agreement, the Forest Preserve District, city and park district worked to acquire land, construct new trail links and maintain existing trails. The West Branch Riverway Trail was completed on time and within budget.
“Our 2012 Community Survey confirmed that Naperville residents highly value trails,” said Naperville Park District Board President Kirsten Young. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with the City and the Forest Preserve District to develop great regional trails like this one.”
For more information about the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, visitwww.dupageforest.org. For more information on the City of Naperville, visit www.naperville.il.us. For more information on the Naperville Park District, visit www.napervilleparks.org.