Recent Land Acquisitions Push Forest Preserve Past 22,500 Acres

The Forest Preserve District of Will County recently completed two land acquisitions that will expand Hadley Valley Preserve in Homer Township and preserve a portion of a farm for educational and restoration purposes in Washington Township.

The acquisitions total 80 acres and bring the Forest Preserve’s land holdings to more than 22,500 acres.

The 40-acre Homer Township acquisition east of Cedar Road will increase the size of Hadley Valley Preserve and was the missing link needed to connect two sections of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail. A 5-mile trail section in Hadley Valley will eventually link with a 3.44-mile segment in Messenger Marsh preserve.

“The land purchase also will protect the stream, its associated wetlands and floodplain,” said Ralph Schultz, the Forest Preserve’s chief operating officer. “It’s important to protect and improve the path for stormwater to flow into the creek, which reduces erosion and pollutants. The trail is one component, but the overall goal was to protect the stream and the floodway between the preserves.