Trail land's available; issue is priorities
Thank you for the generous and complimentary "Our View" article in Wednesday's Daily Herald. Our group is thrilled with your endorsement. Everything in your article was spot on, except for one tiny point that requires some clarification.
There are no "pieces of property to acquire" as your article states at its conclusion. All the land envisioned for this project is public (county, forest preserve, park district) or quasi-public (like IDOT, ComEd, Glenbard Wastewater) land. The East Branch DuPage River Trail was envisioned and planned decades ago by people who've long-since moved on.
The EBDRT has been included in the comprehensive plans of many local governmental bodies with jurisdiction over the properties (think county, forest preserve, villages, park districts, etc.) for decades.
Funding for trails like this are drawn from allocated transportation budgets. There are dollars available, but it's a matter of priorities. Should we prioritize a new intersection with more "pork chops?" An on-ramp to a highway? Or a recreational trail? The land is there already; it's just sort of inaccessible right now. The money is there, it's just sort of prioritized for other things.
Friends of the EBDRT is working hard to influence decision-makers at all levels of government. There are 5,000 signatures on a petition to support this project but we need more. We hope folks will come out on June 4 to Butterfield Park District to see for themselves how a recreational trail could connect hikers, runners and bikers safely to parks, forest preserves and ultimately the Morton Arboretum! RSVPs are appreciated at eastbranchtrail.org but not required.
Ginger Wheeler, President
Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail