Kane County OK's $2.9 Million Cross Country Course at Settler's Hill

Kane County OK’s $2.9 Million Cross Country Course at Settler’s Hill

Keeping a promise made more than 35 years ago, the Kane County Board on Tuesday approved a contract that will convert the former Settler’s Hill Landfill into a state-of-the-art cross-country course and natural recreational area that Kane County families will be able to enjoy for perpetuity.

The board approved Resolution No. 18-27 Approving Contract to Construct Cross Country Course at Settlers Hill Landfill, which accepts a request for proposals to construct the cross-country course. Curran Contracting Company was selected from among seven firms that responded to the RFP.

The contract calls for the county to pay an amount not to exceed $2,982,808 for the work, scheduled to begin this spring. The new course is expected to open in 2019.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns attended the County Board meeting and thanked county officials — including 11th District County Board member John Martin and his predecessor, Mike Donahue — for pushing for an end use plan that would put the former landfill to use for the general public.

“The city of Geneva is pleased with this project,” he said. “We stand with you in both excitement and anticipation of development of this important site.”

Martin also thanked the Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources staff, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County and the many public and private partners who worked together to turn the plan into reality.

“This is honoring the county’s decades-long commitment to the 11th District,” he said. “This will not only be a unique venue for cross-country but a great hiking and picnic area for all the residents of Kane County. A lot of people on the board worked very hard on this, and I want to thank everybody.”

The cross-country venue itself promises to be nothing short of spectacular, arguably the best possible venue for cross-country spectators, who will have a chance to watch the length of a race as it winds around the hill to the finish line.

High school, college and university teams are expected to be among the prospective users of the course.

The Forest Preserve Commission on Tuesday OK’d naming rights for the course in a five-year contract. Northwestern Medicine — which already has naming rights for the Kane County Cougars home stadium — will pay $75,000 for the five-year deal. The money will help fund maintenance of the course.

Bids for the project came in about $700,000 lower than expected, and costs for the construction will be largely paid through the Enterprise Fund established before the landfill opened in 1982, officials said.

An all-volunteer group will manage the event planning and operation of the course, again assuring there will be little or no cost to taxpayers for that aspect of the facility’s operation.

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About Settler’s Hill

SOURCE: Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources website

The Settlers Hill Landfill, which operated for 24 years beginning in 1982, was a primary waste disposal site for Kane, DuPage and western Cook counties prior to its closing in 2006. Kane County no longer has an active landfill, therefore all of the solid waste generated in the county is transferred to other landfills in the region.

The Settler’s Hill site is owned by the county and operated by Waste Management of Illinois, Inc. Waste Management, as the operator, is responsible for the environmental management and monitoring of the landfill site.


Settler’s Hill Landfill is located in Kane County, approximately 42 miles west of downtown Chicago, and approximately two miles from downtown Geneva. The Settler’s Hill Landfill is bounded by rail lines to the north, Fabyan Parkway to the south, the Settler’s Hill Golf Course and Fabyan Woods Forest Preserve to the west, and Kirk Road to the east. Access to the site is currently from Fabyan Parkway only.


The County Board approved an expansion of Settler’s Hill landfill in 1994. This approval was appealed to the Illinois Pollution Control Board. The County Board’s decision to approve the expansion was upheld in September 1997.

A subsequent agreement (County Board Resolution 97-269) between Kane County, the City of Geneva, and Waste Management of Illinois, Inc. stated that:

(1) Settler’s Hill would permanently close on or before Dec. 31, 2006;

(2) WMI was prohibited from operating any waste incineration, waste transfer or composting facilities at Settler’s Hill; and

(3) WMI would not seek permitting for any other landfill or transfer station site within Geneva Township.

A study to identify preferred sites for a new landfill was completed in August 1995. Following review of that study in September 1995, the County Board adopted Resolution 95-247, which stated that the Kane County Board “will not pursue the acquisition of property, the development of, or siting approval for a new landfill facility in Kane County”.

About the Site Improvement

Kane County, engaged Hunden Strategic Partners to study the market forces upon, and the financial projections of, a new cross-country course on the now closed Settler’s Hill landfill.

The master plan for the 700-acre complex, which includes both the Settler’s Hill and Midway Landfills, was developed by Kane County in conjunction with the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

The stakeholders prefer to see the site divided into 90 percent passive and 10 percent active uses.​