The Forest Preserve District of Kane County invites neighbors to join community leaders, staff and volunteers to the grand reopening of Oakhurst Forest Preserve, at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 26.
During the event, Forest Preserve dignitaries will officially unveil new or revamped amenities at the Aurora preserve, including:
- Fishing pier
- Boat ramp
- Accessible dock
- Picnic shelter with adjacent fire ring
- Expanded parking
- Landform play area in the shape of a large salamander
The ribbon-cutting will take place at the new shelter.
As part of the festivities, the Forest Preserve District plans to honor the late Officer Harold H. Carter, Jr.
Carter was a Forest Preserve District police officer for 11 years, until his retirement in 2018. Prior to that, he was an Aurora police officer for 26 years. He died on Jan. 4, 2020, at the age of 71, from cancer.
The district plans to name the new picnic shelter in his memory.
“We wanted to find a way to officially remember Harold, and thought a brand new Forest Preserve District picnic shelter, within Aurora — the city he served for many years — would be a fitting tribute,” said Forest Preserve Executive Director Monica Meyers. “Harold always had a big smile for everyone he met, and he had a huge heart. Our staff misses him every day.”
The Aurora Police Department Pipes and Drums will play at the ceremony. Carter was a bagpiper with the group, and also played bagpipes at various Forest Preserve District grand openings.
Jerome Leake, head chaplain with the Aurora Police Department, will offer a benediction. Forest Preserve Sgt. William Glisson will also provide remarks about his longtime friend and coworker.
Immediately following the grand reopening ceremony and ribbon cutting, the district’s “Harvest of the Acorn Moon” fall festival takes place, from noon to 3 p.m.
The fall festival includes pumpkin painting, mule-drawn wagon rides, outdoor games, nature crafts, folk music and refreshments. Admission is free. There is a nominal charge for wagon rides, crafts and refreshments.
For more information, see www.kaneforest.com. Oakhurst Forest Preserve is located at 1680 Fifth Ave., Aurora.
SOURCE: Forest Preserve District of Kane County news release