Forest Preserve District of Will County presents Appreciation for Partners Award to Illinois Tollway

Forest Preserve District of Will County presents Appreciation for Partners Award to Illinois Tollway

The Forest Preserve District of Will County presented its 2022 “Appreciation for Partners” award to the Illinois Tollway at its Board of Commissioners meeting on February 9 in Joliet. 

Each year, the Forest Preserve District selects its award honoree from dozens of organizations that support its mission to protect and enhance Will County’s natural and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. 

This year, the Illinois Tollway was selected for its longstanding support and advocacy for development of the Veterans Memorial Trail, a more than 3.5-mile multi-use trail that runs parallel to the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) in the southwest suburbs. 

Last year, the City of Lockport was chosen for its commitment to the 3.5-mile trail extension from Spring Creek Greenway Trail in Hadley Valley to 159th Street. The Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition also received the partnership award for its support and provision of resources to make the Hammel Woods dam removal project possible. 

“What started as a line on a map over 25 years ago, the vision for the Veterans Memorial Trail continues to come to fruition and be an asset to Will County and beyond,” said Forest Preserve District Executive Director Ralph Schultz. “With continued commitment of the Tollway and local agencies, it is the Forest Preserve’s hope to make the remaining phases of the Veterans Memorial Trail a reality.”

In addition to the Veterans Memorial Trail, the Illinois Tollway has longed worked in partnership with the Forest Preserve District on other projects, including restoration and preservation of more than 180 acres of wetlands, prairies and savannas, as well as development of three public-access sites and nearly 5 miles of multi-use trails along Spring Creek in the Hadley Valley Preserve in Joliet near the interchange that connects I-355 to I-80. 

“We are grateful for this recognition of our longtime partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Will County,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. 
“We are happy to have played a role in supporting the Veterans Memorial Trail and other projects that have protected and enhanced the environment.”

Click here for more information about the Veterans Memorial Trail.