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Preserve Improvements

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Dutch Gap Area Master Plan

Project Description

The purpose of the Dutch Gap Area Master Plan project is to complete coordinated master plans for five forest preserves located in northern Lake County along the North Mill Creek corridor: Dutch Gap, Ethel’s Woods, Pine Dunes, Prairie Stream, and Raven Glen.

The Master Plan outlines potential recreation improvements, education programming and habitat restoration that may be implemented at a forest preserve. The project will also consider potential recreation and habitat connections between the preserves.

Project Area

The project planning area is located north and south of Route 173, between Deep Lake Road and U.S. Highway 41. North Mill Creek flows south through the area from the Wisconsin border, where it is referred to as the Dutch Gap Canal.

Planning Process

The master planning process will be completed in the following phases:

1. Inventory, Analysis & Program Development Phase—Summer/Fall 2011

Information regarding natural and cultural resources was gathered and evaluated as part of developing ideas for recreation, education, and habitat restoration.

Ideas for recreation, education, and habitat restoration will be developed through public participation in combination with an evaluation of our overall programming needs. A public Open House was held in October 2011 at Pine Dunes Forest Preserve so members of the public could view information about the five preserves and provide input about future ideas and opportunities. The following information was presented:

Project Area
Summary of Site Features
Existing Plant Communities
Hydrology
Rasmussen Lake Restoration–Existing Conditions
Rasmussen Lake Restoration–Project Summary
Master Plan Process
Open House Results Summary

Equestrian and Multi-Use Trail Assessment

As part of this phase, a survey was also conducted to evaluate how equestrians and other trail users enjoy the existing forest preserve trails and equestrian facilities. We wanted to understand how well the existing facilities serve the public, and to gather ideas for possible future recreation facilities. View survey results.

2. Concept Alternatives—Spring 2013

Based on public input and our overall planning goals, two master plan concept alternatives were developed for each of the five preserves. The concept alternatives propose different options for recreation, education and habitat restoration activities for each preserve and how they might be integrated into a comprehensive plan. 

Concept Alternative A–Plan Drawing

Concept Alternative A–Summary Description

Concept Alternative B–Plan Drawing  

Concept Alternative B–Summary Description

A second Public Open House was held for the project on February 20, 2013 at the Antioch Township Center. The purpose of the open house was to provide the public the opportunity to view and discuss Concept Alternative A and B. Approximately 56 members of the public attended.

3. Conceptual Master Plan—Future

One preliminary conceptual master plan will be designed for each of the five study-area preserves. The plans will reflect the ideas from the earlier concept alternatives and will provide more detail into the design and restoration goals.

4. Plan Approval—Future

The final Conceptual Master Plan will be reviewed and approved by the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners. The Master Plan will be reviewed and evaluated for possible incorporation into our 5-year Capital Improvement Plan.

Questions or comments? Contact Susan Hall, Landscape Architect, 847-968-3270 or shall@LCFPD.org