Six years after Bloomingdale purchased the southernmost portion of Hilton Indian Lakes Resort to preserve that 35-acre area as open space, the site's pathways frequently are used for walking and biking.
Still, village officials envision the property, located between Meadowlark Road and Cardinal Drive, could someday provide an additional benefit to the community: flood control.
If the open space could be used for stormwater storage, it would alleviate area flooding that occurs during major rain events.
Bloomingdale prevented the flooding problems from getting worse by spending $4.9 million in 2007 to buy the land and protecting it from future development.
"But the second phase of actually doing something to significantly improve stormwater management in the area, that hasn't been done at this point," Village Administrator Martin Bourke said.
The goal is to eventually improve the site so it can be used for both stormwater management and passive recreation.
Last year, the village contracted an open space planning firm and consulting engineers to do a study. The process has reached a point where there's two concept plans for stormwater storage on the site.
The first concept calls for stormwater storage in open water basins. The other is to have an "emergent plant" environment involving wetlands.
Both plans provide for open space amenities such as walking paths, woodland areas, native wildflower plantings, benches and footbridges, officials said.
"The two plans are kind of a starting point of what the final product would look like," Mayor Franco Coladipietro said.
To present the plans and get feedback from residents, the village has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Bloomingdale Golf Club, 181 Glen Ellyn Road, in Bloomingdale.
Coladipietro said officials want residents to attend the meeting and share their thoughts about the plans.
"The planning of 35 acres is significant," he said. "Given the size and potential use of that space, it's important for the community to have a say in what goes on there."
In addition to the meeting, the village is establishing an ad hoc advisory committee to guide the preparation of detailed design plans.
Once a preferred design concept is selected, a cost estimate will have to be determined. Then the village will need to overcome a major hurdle: finding enough money to pay for a project.
"The money to pay for it is not a done deal," Bourke said. "This would compete with other projects that the village may have long-term plans to do."
Anyone interested in volunteering to serve on the ad hoc advisory committee should contact Janice Hernon, planning and development coordinator, at (630) 671-5694 or firstname.lastname@example.org.