11,530 New Trees Will Be Planted on Longmeadow Parkway Corridor
Kane County Division of Transportation officials announced this week that 11,530 high-quality, native trees will be planted along the Longmeadow Parkway corridor in northern Kane County.
The tree-planting effort — which officials say may be unprecedented in Kane County’s history — is part of a habitat creation plan developed through a partnership between the county, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kane County Forest Preserve District.
“We will be planting more than twice as many trees as the number that will have to be removed,” said Carl Schoedel, Kane County engineer. “Our goal here is to make sure this project enhances the quality of the local environment.”
According to KDOT officials, about 5,765 trees will need to be removed as part of the construction process for the 5.6-mile parkway and bridge corridor that will run from Huntley Road to IL Route 62. Many of the trees being removed are either in poor health or poor structure, and about 232 of those trees are dead.
The 11,530 new trees will be planted over the next few years along the corridor and in open space areas such as the Brunner Family Forest Preserve, which is mostly an open farm field. The county has worked with environmental experts to select specific high-quality native tree species that will provide an enhanced habitat for the northern long-eared bat, recently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Trees planted in the Forest Preserve will be monitored and maintained to ensure the success and long term management of the trees.
Oaks (Black, White, Bur and Swamp White), Basswood, Black Walnut, Shagbark Hickory and Eastern Hophornbeam are some of the high quality native species that will be considered for planting at Brunner. An updated Tree Survey Report (Addendum A) and the recently approved Tree Mitigation Plan are available here.
The number of new trees planted in the Brunner Family Forest Preserve could add up to 7,500.
“Those trees will extend the riparian corridor, increase habitat and improve overall water quality into the Fox River,” Schoedel said.
About the Longmeadow Parkway Corridor
The Longmeadow Parkway Fox River Bridge Corridor is a planned tree lined Parkway and Fox River Bridge crossing with a landscaped median, approximately 5.6 miles in length, running from Huntley Road to IL Route 62. The proposed road passes through portions of the villages of Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills, as well as unincorporated areas of Kane County and will provide a valuable benefit to the public by relieving congestion, encouraging economic development, improving travel options and connecting towns and neighborhoods.
Several decades of environmental/engineering studies, updates and approvals by local, state and federal environmental protection agencies have determined the Longmeadow Parkway alternative will have the least impact when considering homes, air, noise, water, wetlands and wildlife.
Of all the options considered for a bridge crossing, it is the only acceptable alternative for northern Kane County according to the approved Final Environmental Impact Statement and impacts the fewest homes when considering all other construction alternatives, including the “no build” option, KDOT officials said.
Today, the corridor represents an ongoing public investment with about $30 million already spent on environmental studies, engineering, land acquisition and roadway improvements. The western portion of the corridor is currently under construction to connect Huntley Road with existing Longmeadow Parkway. The remainder of the corridor will be constructed in stages as funding, right of way and the remaining permits are secured. Construction is anticipated to be complete in late 2019.
Additional information is available on the Longmeadow Parkway page of the Kane County Division of Transprotation website.
SOURCE: Kane County Division of Transportation