One of the larger parks in the heart of St. Charles will nearly double in size thanks to a new deal park commissioners have reached.
Delnor Woods Park has stood at about 23 acres near the intersection of Route 25 and Fulton Avenue for many years. Its borders will now expand to 42 acres with the addition of a 19.1-acre parcel previously owned by the Dellora A. Norris Trust. Park district officials have long coveted the land, but members of the trust are scattered across the country, creating a lengthy negotiation process.
Park commissioners have agreed to purchase the land from the trust for $2.1 million. The money comes from land acquisition funds remaining from a successful tax increase referendum in February 2008. Prior to the land purchase, the Otter Cove Aquatic Park that opened in May 2011 resulted from the use of some of that money.
The new land from the Norris Trust is located on the east side of Delnor Woods Park, adjacent to the Fox Chase subdivision. There are no immediate plans to improve the land, but officials believe the green dragon, Michigan lily, pagoda dogwood, red oaks, white oaks and sensitive fern located on the property will be an attraction to local nature lovers.
"The park board is grateful for the generosity and cooperation of the family heirs," Park Board President Jim Cook said in a written statement. "Historically, the Norris and Collins families have been great supporters of the park district and its mission to provide park land and facilities for generations to come."
Park officials said the district might expand its trail system into the additional land at a future date. An open play field and a gazebo are other options being considered for future improvements.