DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville will be getting cleaned up in more ways than one before it reopens Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Interior cleaning, renovations and repairs usually are the focus of the museum's annual maintenance period, but work this year also will include landscaping to quell the concerns of neighbors who noticed unkempt weeds.
Naperville resident Michael Boomgarden contacted museum staff last week saying the venue has become "a community eyesore" with overgrown weeds by signs, fences and parking lot islands.
"The state of the museum has deteriorated to the point where the entire museum -- which is a great community asset -- is unsightly," Boomgarden wrote in an email to museum employees and city officials.
Boomgarden, who lives in the Naperville Station neighborhood just west of the museum, also made his concerns public on Facebook, where museum President and CEO Susan Broad responded.
"The comments about our landscaping are completely justified. It has deteriorated pretty quickly over the summer, but we can assure you that help is on the way," Broad wrote.
Help is coming in the form of a landscaping service that began cleanup of overgrown areas on Tuesday. Broad said staff members and volunteers will help spruce up museum grounds during the shutdown period, and the landscaping service will continue to maintain the museum's outdoor areas in the future.
T.J. Hicks, director of integrated brand marketing for the museum, said an employee who usually worked on landscaping left earlier this summer, causing the grounds to become overgrown.
"It's always a challenge as a nonprofit our size to make sure everything gets covered," Hicks said.
While the city owns the museum after buying the property for $3.3 million in 2010, the museum is responsible for its own landscape maintenance, Hicks said.
Boomgarden called the museum's response to his concerns "very positive" and said he is glad work has begun to "get things up to snuff."