Knoch Knolls Nature Center groundbreaking on schedule
Sun Staff March 14, 2013 11:34AM
This artist's rendering shows the nature center planned for Knoch Knolls Park. | COURTESY OF NAPERVILLE PARK DISTRICT
Updated: April 16, 2013 4:03PM
The Naperville Park District is expecting to break ground in the summer for the nature center at Knoch Knolls Park in Naperville.
The Park District is now completing detailed plans in preparation for the anticipated summer groundbreaking of the nature center and other park improvements at Knoch Knolls, a 224-acre park located at 336 Knoch Knolls Road in south Naperville. The district plans to spend $3.8 million on the nature center and other improvements at the park.
“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.”
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 built with a focus on environmental sustainability, district officials said. It will have photovoltaic panels to provide renewable energy, a partial green roof and a visible cistern that will reuse rainwater.
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 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 different attractions at the site.