Active River Community Workshop Input is Success!
Active River Community Input Workshop Draws Large Enthusiastic Crowd
On May 15th, the St. Charles Active River Project held its first community workshop at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. John Rabchuk, chairman of the Active River Task Force opened with a brief history of the efforts of the task force comprised of members from the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles, the St. Charles Park District, the City of St. Charles and the Kane County Forest Preserve that led to the selection of the Hitchcock team.
After reviewing proposals from the very best river project design teams in the world, it was obvious that the team assembled by the Hitchcock Design Group provided the best combination of design, methodology and local regulatory knowledge to make this project a success for the community.
Over 100 attendees listened to the project team, led by Hitchcock Design Group, discuss many of the ideas under consideration for the Fox River as it flows through St. Charles, and then participated in workshop programs to help identify how and why they utilize the Fox River today as well as what they might like to see if the future. Rick Hitchcock described the process that they would utilize to gather information and present ideas to the community. Scott Shipley of S2O Design, a former Olympian and four-time world champion kayaker, presented successful river restoration and enhancement programs from around the world as reference projects; while Dan Martin of Market Feasibility and Analysis outlined demographic and economic support for the project. Another Hitchcock team member, Greg Chismark of WBK Engineering, offered firsthand knowledge of current infrastructure issues with the St. Charles dam as well as along the Fox River.
The workshop discussions identified that the primary concern of those in attendance focused around water quality and ecological issues; followed closely by white water and on-water recreational opportunities; and river frontage activities such as walk/cycle trails, river front amphitheaters, water-based playgrounds, etc.
Rick Hitchcock informed the attendees of key milestones that have been set for this summer, including the first public viewing of a preliminary plan at another Active River public workshop on July 7, 2015 to be held at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. The final plan presentation is scheduled for August 25, 2015 and will include design concepts as well as economic analysis and funding recommendations.
Interested parties can contact the Active River Task Force, follow the progress of the task force.