By Tom Schrader
Vice President, Friends of the Fox River
In January 2006, Friends of the Fox River (FOFR) President Chuck Roberts and Vice-President Tom Schrader met with engineers from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Smith Engineering to discuss FOFR’s concerns about the impact of the proposed Prairie Parkway on environmentally sensitive areas within the Fox River watershed.
Roberts and Schrader spoke with the group about the potential impacts of the construction and operation of the Prairie Parkway on Big Rock Creek and the Fox River. The proposed route of the Parkway traverses the Big Rock Creek watershed and closely parallels the mainstem of the creek for much of its course. The route crosses the Fox River just east of Silver Springs State Park, south of Plano. Specific issues addressed in the January meeting included the effects of runoff from the construction process resulting in increased siltation and water temperature regimes in Big Rock Creek, the effects of the construction of the Parkway on local groundwater discharges into Big Rock Creek, and the effects of the construction of the Parkway on State-endangered and State-threatened species currently living in Big Rock Creek.
As a result of the meeting, Tom Schrader was invited to represent Friends of the Fox River on the Corridor Planning Group – Environmental Task Force. The Environmental Task Force is made up of the engineering team leading the Prairie Parkway project along with representatives of the Kane and Kendall County, the Forest Preserve Districts of Kane and Kendall County, the Kane and Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and local environmental groups such as The Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Fox River (among others). The purpose of the Environmental Task Force is to provide regular, formal input regarding environmental issues involving the Prairie Parkway.
The first meeting of the Environmental Task Force took place in January 2006. Meetings of the group will be held monthly during the initial stages of the process.
Check this site often for updates on the progress of the Prairie Parkway Corridor Planning Group – Environmental Task Force. Also, feel free to contact Tom Schrader with any concerns you have relating to the Prairie Parkway’s impact on the Fox River watershed.