Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00
Artist's conception of a new nature center (above) at Naperville's Knoch Knolls, a 224-acre park on the south side of town. Image provided by Naperville Park District.
The Naperville Park District is now completing detailed plans in preparation for the anticipated Summer 2013 groundbreaking of a nature center and other park improvements at Knoch Knolls, a 224-acre park located at 336 Knoch Knolls Road in south Naperville.
“The Knoch Knolls Nature Center will be the Naperville Park District’s first staffed nature center,” said the Park District’s Director of Recreation Brad Wilson. “We are excited to provide a place for indoor and outdoor learning that will help many kids and adults discover and enjoy our largest and most diverse natural area,” he added.
After gathering input through public open house events and through a series of meetings with a community review team, the Naperville Park District began architectural design of the Nature Center in 2012.
Considering the unique geography of Knoch Knolls, which includes the confluence of the East Branch and West Branch of the DuPage River, the primary theme for the educational exhibits emerged as “Celebrating Water.”
Exhibits will include a river aquarium, an interactive wall map of the DuPage River watershed, plants and animals of the DuPage River Confluence, and others.
Serving as a center for nature education, the new facility itself will be a prime example of environmental sustainability, with sustainable features such as photovoltaic panels to provide renewable energy, a partial green roof, a visible cistern that will reuse rainwater, and a highly efficient HVAC system.
Site plan of the new park. Image provided by Naperville Park District.
The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has awarded the Naperville Park District a $255,693 grant through its High Performance Green Building Program for energy efficient, LEED Platinum design of the Knoch Knolls Nature Center.
As part of the Nature Center development, the Naperville Park District plans additional site improvements at Knoch Knolls, including a pervious paver parking lot, an expanded disc golf course, a nature-themed playground, and multi-use trails connecting the site amenities.
Site plans, photos and additional project details are posted at www.napervilleparks.org under Capital Projects/Knoch Knolls at the link: http://www.napervilleparks.org/parks/knoch-knolls.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:31