Construction of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Kankakee Sands Preserve – Route 113 Access
will soon be underway in Custer Township.
A groundbreaking ceremony held Thursday, May 26, signaled that work would begin in the 555-acre preserve located on the north side of Route 113, east of Route 53. The project includes a parking lot, a 2.5 mile crushed limestone trail, a picnic pavilion that can accommodate 80 people, an information board and a latrine. The preserve access area is expected to open in early 2017. Kankakee Sands Preserve
protects savanna and wetland habitat. The crescent-shaped sand dunes located in the preserve are relics from a time 15,000 years ago when the area was the shoreline of glacial Lake Wauponsee.
Custer Township Supervisor Bruce Tammen said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the project will be a great addition to the region, and he hopes area residents make use of the new preserve access when it opens.
The Kankakee Sands access area will be the last project to be constructed with money from the District’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), said Ralph Schultz, the District’s chief operating officer. The CIP was funded by referendums approved by voters in 1999 and 2005. Many Forest Preserve amenities enjoyed by the public today were part of the 17-year CIP, including dog parks, new or expanded trails, fishing lakes, boat launches, picnic shelters, building renovations and the preservation of an additional 8,800 acres.
Forest Preserve Board President Suzanne Hart thanked District employees for their hard work in getting the access project off the ground, and she noted that the Kankakee Sands groundbreaking was the third held by the District in May. The first was for a new access area and dog park at Plum Valley Preserve in Crete Township,
and the second was for a 1-mile extension of the DuPage River Trail in Naperville.Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock