It's one of the most enchanting natural landscapes remaining in Lake County: From fields flourishing with wildflowers, to groves cloistered under the canopies of interlacing treetops, to ponds and creeks lacquered in gold at sunset, the 12-mile corridor once designated as a site for the now-defunct Route 53 Extension is a quintessential example of the scenic riches unique to our County's identity. And now it's the proposed destination of a state park.
The park would include a continuous nature trail for walking, running, and biking; recreational amenities for kids and families; and dedicated sanctuary for rare and critical natural habitat. All of it is located within easy access to local residents. And much of the land that would comprise the park is already owned by the state. That's why local communities — including Grayslake, Mundelein, Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, Deer Park, Lake Zurich, and Long Grove — have urged Gov. J. B. Pritzker to embrace a plan to preserve this "Greenway."
Show your support for the Greenway by adding your name to the petition asking Gov. Pritzker to transfer the land to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) so it can be protected as a state park.
Tell Illinois Legislators to protect the old Rt. 53 extension corridor as an open-space Greenway by transferring the land to the relevant conservation agencies.
Dear Legislators, Gov. Pritzker and other elected and appointed officials:
I urge you to preserve Lake County's valuable open space by protecting the Greenway Corridor located on the land once slated for the now-defunct Rte. 53 Tollway Extension.
The continuous chain of flourishing green spaces, flood-preventing wetlands, and wildlife habitats could become an environmental and recreational crown jewel for our communities.
To this end, we ask you to support the transfer of ownership of the state-owned parcels in the corridor from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to agencies better suited to land conservation.
The protection of the Greenway will recoup the value of the taxpayer dollars already invested in this land. Over the years, the state has purchased large segments of the corridor with taxpayer funds. It's time we give taxpayers a return on that investment through opportunities to experience the natural treasures that have survived.
Please protect the Greenway from development and preserve it for what it is—an already-existing 13-mile North/South Greenway Corridor in central Lake County. I support the use of the land for community recreation, flood protection, and habitat and wildlife conservation.