The College of Lake County plans to complete a guided path to connect and highlight the Grayslake campus' many environmental and sustainable features.
Although the path hasn't been finalized, a preliminary map depicts the trail winding past stops such as Willow Lake, the arboretum on the east side of campus and the prairie land to the north. It will also pass CLC's sustainable agriculture features, such as the collection of beehives and the sustainable farm that grows food for students.
David Husemoller, CLC's sustainability manager, said the college will place signs at all the notable stops along the trail to explain the features. The trail will mostly use existing sidewalks and gravel paths but Husemoller said there are a few spots that need to be developed.
Some stops will need more explanation than others. For example, officials anticipate erecting a sign on the west side of campus to mark the presence of the underground geothermal wells. Without the sign explaining that massive pumps draw ground water -- always around 55 degrees -- from deep wells to help warm the building in the winter and cool it during the summer, visitors would see only a patch of grass.
The signs will also have information on how the feature relates to CLC programs. Husemoller said the sign for the sustainable farm will likely have information about the college's horticulture program. There would also be signs inside the buildings, he added.
CLC began planning the trail two years ago when it received the 2016 Green Genome Award from the American Association of Community Colleges, which recognized the college's strategy to unify its green and sustainable initiatives. The $10,000 prize will be used to pay for the trail and the 30 or so signs.
"We're doing it right," said Husemoller, who added CLC is using a consultant for the project. "It will be a really well-done, well-designed trail."
Husemoller said officials will finalize designs and put the project out to bid. He said he hopes the project is completed by September for the fall semester.