County Commissioner Larry Suffredin says that after citizen complaints he’s asked the Forest Preserve District to defer action on the proposed widening of a path through Perkins Woods in Evanston.

The paving project was scheduled for a finance committee vote next Tuesday. “No action will be taken without further citizen consultation,” Suffredin says in a statement issued late this morning.

The statement continues:

The mission of the Forest Preserve District (District) is to protect and preserve the natural forests and lands together with their flora and fauna, as nearly as may be, in their natural state and condition, for the purpose of the education, pleasure, and recreation of the public.

The citizens who have made comments on the project show a deep concern and love for the Woods and for how the District will meet its mission. I will work with the District to develop an outreach process to insure that all refurbishing of the trails and restoration work is done in a cooperative manner.

Please remember these facts as we go forward:

  • After numerous requests to replace the current broken and incomplete trails the District was able to do a refinancing earlier this year which made funds available.
  • As part of the restoration it became clear that the Woods were “too dark” and that diseased and invasive trees needed to be taken out to allow more sun light. There needs to be developed a comprehensive restoration plan.
  • There is currently a problem with fly dumping at the Woods of building and landscaping materials. The restoration plan will work on ways to stop this.

My office is happy to assist you with any concerns related to Dwight W. Perkins Woods, the Forest Preserve District or Cook County government, at 847-864-1209 or 312-603-6383.  For more information on Forest Preserve and County issues, please visit my website, or the Forest Preserve website

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. No Mention of “The Highway”

    Suffredin failed to address in his statement the major bone of contention among area residents regarding Perkins' restoration: a 10-foot-wide concrete path he says is "necessary for maintenance vehicles to access the park and clear out the diseased trees and for continued maintenance after that."

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