Fort Sheridan Open Comment Period, Bike Trails, and Spring Events

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Sandy Hart, District 13

April 16, 2015

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Fort Sheridan-Your Input Needed by April 29th!

Fort Sheridan

Last week over 200 people visited the Fort Sheridan open house to view Concept Plans and give their feedback.  If you were unable to attend and would like to view the Concept Plans and comment, please see below. 

Comment period closes April 29!

The Forest Preserve is offering two concepts as a starting point for discussion around the future usage of Fort Sheridan, both showing either an elimination or a substantial decrease in the number of spaces at the existing southeast parking lot.  These proposals have been introduced in an effort to reduce the environmental impact at the bluff and shoreline.  

I believe that increased enforcement and education is necessary to prohibit swimming, keep dogs on-leash, and protect the restored areas, and that a reduction or elimination in parking near the bluff would negatively impact the number of veterans, elderly, disabled, and multi-generational families who currently enjoy this spectacular vista, and will not dissuade people from using the beach.  Here is how the proposed parking changes would impact walking distances to the bluff and the shoreline: 

From the existing SE lot, visitors walk 1/8 mile to the bluff and 1/4 mile to the shore.

From the proposed George Bell Lot in Concept A and B (near the Fort Sheridan entrance), visitors would walk over 1/2 mile to the bluff and 3/4 mile to the shore.

Click here to View/Download Plans, read Concept Summary, and see Existing Conditions

Please continue to send me your thoughts on these proposals and I will make sure they are included with the other comments received at the open house, or you can sign up on the Idea Exchange to comment online and view other comments.

As you're visiting Fort Sheridan over the next few weeks, please be aware that Seaside Engineering will be conducting topographic surveying for the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of the design and engineering phase of the Great Lakes Fish and Ecosystem Restoration Program. They will be working from McCormick Ravine in Lake Forest to the southern boundary of Openlands Lakeshore Preserve.  This project will:

  • Reduce erosion and promote healthy littoral processes
  • Stabilize bluff, ravine and dune communities to reduce erosion and sedimentation into Lake Michigan
  • Remove non-native/invasive species which are degrading native plant communities
  • improve habitat for endangered/threatened coastal species
  • Enhance surf zones along the beach areas for fishes
  • Provide educational opportunities for beach visitors to understand the unique coastal habitats.  

It's been an extremely busy 2015 so far, and I am working on several projects along with my regular board responsibilities, including paratransit, stormwater, mental health, prescription drug disposal, and others.  Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about any of these, or for anything else concerning Lake County Forest Preserves and Lake County government.  As always, it is an honor to represent you!

Sandy Hart Signature

Submit your ideas to the Local Gov't Consolidation Task Force

Illinois has the most units of government than any other state.  You can submit your ideas on consolidating, streamlining, or eliminating duplicative governmental bodies on the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded mandates website.   summary of public comments will be included in the task force’s final report to the governor and General Assembly. 

Bike Path Update-Construction and Trail Closures

Lake County provides hundreds of miles of trails through the collaboration of the Lake County Div. of Transportation, Forest Preserves, municipalities, and other agencies.  We are excited for the improvement and eventual completion of our regional trail system through strategic land purchases and the inclusion of bike paths in our road projects.  

2015 will mark the completion of the Des Plaines River Trail, a project that has been underway for over 50 years.  The recent purchase of land (just south of Riverside Drive and just north of Estonian Lane) closes the gap and enables hikers and bikers to travel from the Wisconsin border to Lake Cook Road without interruption. Trail construction work is expected to begin in spring 2015, weather permitting. 

A short section of the Des Plaines River Trail at Route 120 is closed April 6 through May 22 for a City of Waukegan sewer line installation project.  Travelers should use the sidewalk along Milwaukee Avenue between Casey Trail underpass and Washington Street.

Intermittant closures of the Des Plaines River Trail underpass at Grand Avenue will occur due to the replacement of the Grand Avenue bridge over the Des Plaines River.  As part of this project, IDOT is constructing trail access to the sidewalk. View detour map

The North Shore Bike Path along 176 at the railroad crossing just east of 41 will be under construction this summer to realign the path and improve safety.  More details to follow.

Road Construction and Resurfacing

Lake construction

This year, the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) has 24 road construction projects, 11 of which include non-motorized travel improvements, such as bike paths and bike-friendly lanes.  Two significant road projects are the Washington Street Underpass Project and the widening of the Peterson Road corridor

Crews will also begin work on Kennedy and Route 120 this spring.  Kennedy Drive will be turned into a cul-de-sac at O’Plaine Rd.  Access to O’Plaine Rd will be eliminated to improve safety at the busy intersection of O'Plaine Rd at IL 120.  There will also be an asphalt road extension of West Ave from Hill Ave to Kennedy Dr along with new sidewalk installation.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has several big resurfacing projects in Lake County this summer, and motorists should expect some delays.  The areas listed below are expected to start in the next few weeks. Please click here to submit your questions and comments directly to IDOT. To find out where you will encounter delays, you can monitor local, real-time traffic information through Lake County PASSAGE.

  • IL 21 – Church Street (in Libertyville) to IL Rte 60, IL Rte 60 to Lake Cook Road
  • IL 137 – Butterfield Road to IL 21, IL 21 to O’Plaine Road
  • IL 134 – west of Fairfield to IL 120
  • IL 176 – Hilltop Terrace to US Hwy 12
  • US 12 – Ela Road to Lake Cook Road 

It's Spring! Get Outside!

Earth Week

FREE Programs to Celebrate Earth Day
Join your Forest Preserve educators for a week of free nature programs in honor of Earth Day-April 22.  Celebrate spring, learn about ecology and our theme "Soil Sustains Life," join a nature walk or lend a hand to help save the planet by joining a special volunteer workday. All programs are FREE and all ages are welcome. No registration is required. View calendar of Earth Week programs

Your Rx for Health: A Walk in the Park
We are offering FREE guided tours in our forest preserves as part of the “Rx for Health” walking-in-nature program, which aims to improve your health and your knowledge of nature. For information and to view the schedule, visit the website.


As the weather begins to warm up and flowers begin to bloom, come see all the outdoor fun that Lake County communities have to offer. Discover a farmer’s market, a trail to go hiking or biking or a new event to bring the family to make some memories by viewing Visit Lake County's spring page and Calendar of Events.  Learn more about family fun and things to do this spring in Lake County by checking out and this video

Spring Burn Season
April is a busy month for Lake County Forest Preserve burn crews as they conduct controlled fires to revive natural areas. Fire is the most efficient and economical tool for managing Lake County’s natural communities, improving habitat by decreasing invasive plants, removing dead leaves and exposing the seedbed to the sun. Daily updates 

Love Gardening? Go Green, Go Native at Independence Grove

Compost Bin

Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale May 9, 9am-3pm   Native Plant Sale May 9 9am-3pm  May 10 10am-2pm
Visit Independence Grove's North Bay Pavilion (16400 W. Rte. 137 in Libertyville) for our annual compost bin, rain barrel, and native plant sale, courtesy of SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County), Stormwater Management Commission, and Lake County Forest Preserves.  

Rain barrels cost $60, and compost bins cost $50.  More details

Conserve Lake County Holds Third Annual Native Plant Sale

Hosted by Conserve Lake County, (32492 N. Almond Road, Grayslake) shoppers can purchase online 160 different species of native trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials through May 3. Onsite purchases can be made May 14-16 when online orders can be picked up. 

May 14-15, noon to 8 p.m. (members only)                 May 16-17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
May 18-22, noon-3 p.m.                                            May 23-24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.



Household Chemical Waste Collections
Monday, April 27 Appointment Required 
1311 N. Estes Street, Gurnee

Saturday, April 25, 8am-2:30pm (no appt. necessary)  
Round Lake Bleach Metra Station (630 Hook Drive)
Accepted materials

Recycling Programs
SWALCO offers many programs to keep recyclable items out of our landfills, such as the Reuse-A-Shoe Program.  Schools, scout troops and community groups can participate. Residents can also recycle clothing, fabrics, and textiles.  Lake Bluff recently added a drop off location at the Public Works Facility (640 Rockland Road). Electronic items such as televisions, monitors, computers and printers are some of the most common items that are not allowed in the regular trash. Lake Bluff residents can recycle at Midwest Computer Recycling, 101 Skokie Valley Rd., Lake Bluff (near the intersection of IL Rt. 176 and U.S. Rt. 41). Other residential recycling drop off locations.  

Keep Your Pets Safe

Low Cost - Pets

New Website Helps Reunite Owners and Lost Pets
The Lake County Health Department’s Animal Care and Control program has a new Lost and Found Pet Service web page to help reunite the more than 1,000 pets lost every year with their owners. 

Rescue Adoption Event at Lambs Farm 
On May 16, 11am-3pm, The Anti-Cruelty Society and Lambs Farm (14245 W. Rockland Road) are hosting a same-day Pet Adoption Event for cats and dogs. The Lambs Farm Pet Shop was the first non-sheltered business in the country to employ people with developmental disabilities, offering meaningful employment in a nurturing environment. 

Canine Influenza FAQ's                                                    
There has been a lot in the news lately about canine flu, and The Lake County Health Department's Animal Care and Control Division is monitoring the situation carefully.  Please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website for a list of FAQ's and recommendations on how to keep your dogs healthy during the outbreak. 

Low Cost Pet Clinics in Lindenhurst and Vernon Hills     
Low-cost pet vaccination clinics provide a convenient and affordable way to keep pets up to date with their shots and rabies tags. Pets are taken on a first come first served basis. All animals brought to a clinic must be at least four months old. Dogs must be leashed and cats placed in carriers. Only cash will be accepted on site.  More Information

April 18 - 9am to noon
Lindenhurst Police Department Vaccination Clinic
2301 East Sand Lake Road, Lindenhurst

April 25 - 9am to noon
Vernon Hills Police Department Vaccination Clinic
Public Works Building, 490 Greenleaf Drive, Vernon Hills

Internships Available at Circuit Clerk’s Office

Full-time, paid summer internships will be available within the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office.  The program provides an opportunity for students to experience working in public service and government while learning about the services the Circuit Clerk’s Office provides to the community. Interns must be enrolled full time in an accredited college or university, demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. Applications are available at the circuit clerk's website.



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