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Glen Ellyn rejects outcry to save trees
By Hafsa Naz Mahmood | Daily Herald Staff

Glen Ellyn is moving forward with a plan to cut down 340 trees at Ackerman Park for a flood control project.


Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

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Published: 5/21/2008 12:04 AM

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Despite the roughly 100 Glen Ellyn residents that expressed their discontent with the village and park district's plan to cut down 340 trees for a flood control project, the plan is expected to go forward.

Glen Ellyn leaders will move forward with a flood control project at Ackerman Park that entails cutting down 340 trees, despite much outcry from residents opposed to the project.

Tuesday night, about 100 residents attended Glen Ellyn Park District's board meeting and urged them to reconsider the project.

Passionate people against the project wore "Save Ackerman" stickers and brought in signs representing their views. Residents also recently presented a petition that had more than 1,000 signatures of residents against the project, and Glenbard West High School students also collected about 270 signatures of teens in opposition to the plan.

Still, park district officials reiterated again they'll move forward with the project.

In an opening statement Tuesday night, Glen Ellyn Park District President Bill Taylor said the board had no plans to debate the issue. He also said it would be fiscally irresponsible for the park district to pass by the storm water opportunity.

"The board is moving forward with the project as scheduled," he said. "The Glen Ellyn (park district) board will have to agree to disagree with residents."

Still, residents continued to urge the board to put the brakes on the project and evaluate other options.

"I urge you to make a new decision based on new information," resident Lyn Whiston said. "I hope we can have soccer fields to play games and have our wonderful trees."

Chris Wilson, a member of Citizens for Glen Ellyn Preservation, said enough trees already come down annually for various reasons.

"And here we have a native grove of trees that were here even when Glen Ellyn was settled," she said. "In light of the trees this village has lost and in light of the environmental concerns of the citizens, I'm asking you now to listen to us again, to revisit this topic... and give the citizens of Glen Ellyn a chance to be heard."

Lynn Barnett also expressed her frustration with the plans.

"You guys are taking a forest and just decimating it because of a retention pond," she said. "I think that's really sad."

Melissa Creech, who's been leading the efforts, said there are lots of different ways the park district could stop the project.

"And we're asking you to please do that," she said. "You are our park district, and we feel that as our park district you should be listening to your constituents in Glen Ellyn."

After the meeting ended, Ned Heidenreich said he's deeply ashamed of his park district board and the government of the village of Glen Ellyn.