Active River Task Force Seeks Community Feedback on Preliminary Concepts

Active River Task Force Seeks Community Feedback on Preliminary Concepts

The Fox River has always been the geographic center of St. Charles, and the Active River Task Force believes that the river can, once again, be the centerpiece of the community’s very identity and future prosperity. The Task Force and its consultant, Hitchcock Design Group, have preliminarily identified improvements to 3 core focus areas, the trail system, the Riverwalk, and the dam, which are fundamental to the success of the downtown, the city, and even the region.

“The 2002 River Corridor Master Plan created a striking vision for the downtown riverfront, which the community embraced and has advanced, albeit more slowly than originally contemplated, thanks to the recession,” says John Rabchuk, chairman of the Active River Task Force. “We believe that the time is right to update the master plan with a much stronger emphasis on the river, itself, as a powerful natural, recreational and economic asset.”

The preliminary strategy seeks to position the St. Charles River Corridor as the place to live, work, play, dine and shop in the region by showcasing a package of seasonal and year-round attractions; completing river, trail and riverwalk connections; embellishing natural, cultural and recreational assets; aligning brand communications; and systematically tackling large and small scale projects to gain and maintain momentum.

The 2002 master plan featured important riverwalk and trail improvements, like the Leonard Walkway between Indiana and Illinois Streets, for instance, which have been completed. Based on their proven  success in other communities across the country, the preliminary 2015 plan still contemplates significant riverwalk and trail improvements. By comparison, the Task Force and consultants look to feature a dramatic modification of the dam, which, conceptually, is planned to maintain the upstream pool, naturalize the shoreline, improve water quality and fish passage, and create a uniquely scenic paddling course that may be enjoyed by kayak and boating enthusiasts of all skill levels.

The public is invited to learn much more about preliminary plans for the river and the river corridor at an Open House hosted by the Active River Task Force between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. Everyone with an interest in the Fox River, the downtown and the city’s place in the region is encouraged to meet with Active River Task Force members and the Hitchcock Design Group consultant team, one-on-one, in an informal setting, to discuss the preliminary design concepts and provide input before recommendations are finalized in August.

The consultant team will make a brief presentation of their preliminary recommendations at 7 p.m. Before and after the presentation, the consultant team and Task Force members will be available to discuss the project and receive public input.

As an update to the River Corridor Master Plan completed in 2002, the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles formed the Active River Task Force to determine ways to capitalize on the Fox River as a natural and economic asset. When complete in August of this year, the consultant team will deliver a market-supported strategy, policy recommendations, and a framework for public and private investment over the next five years and beyond.

To learn more about the project, visit, or contact John Rabchuk, chairman, Active River Task Force, at

SOURCE: Active River Task Force press release