Geneva residents continue push to save 300-year-old oak trees in proposed development

A local effort to oppose the removal of roughly 75 burr oak trees in a proposed warehouse development near Geneva now includes a website and an online petition with more than 1,000 signatures.

Midwest Industrial Funds of Oak Brook seeks to annex and rezone 211 acres at the intersection of Route 38 and Kautz Road. The developer wants to construct a warehouse and seven other buildings. But the proposal would require cutting down the trees, including some that are 300 years old.

Geneva Township resident Brian Maher first spoke out against removing the trees in April. He now has a web page at and a petition with 1,038 signatures as of Wednesday.

"We don't know if it will mean anything to the city, state or Midwest Industrial Funds," Maher said. "We have not had any traction from the company. Absolutely nothing. They have not responded to emails nor phone calls."

"Whether it does anything - I don't know," Maher said of the website and petition.

"I am faced with the facts and realization, having started this at the city level, taken it to the county level, talked with state representatives and more alphabet acronym government agencies that you can shake a stick at. Not one chooses to - or can be - helpful in the least. None of them."

Kane County does not have a tree preservation ordinance.

Although Geneva has a tree preservation ordinance, the MIF property is not yet part of the city. But the site is proposed for annexation.

Rachael Kay Albers, a Geneva resident who supports saving the oaks, started the petition.

"We are a group of Geneva, Illinois and Kane County residents who are deeply concerned about the proposed project by Midwest Industrial Funds to construct warehouses that would result in the destruction of our beloved oak trees in Geneva Township," Albers said on the petition.

"These majestic oaks, some of which have stood for over 300 years, hold immense ecological and historic significance for our community," she wrote. "Moreover, these oak trees offer much-needed green space in Kane County. They provide a sanctuary for wildlife, including numerous bird species that rely on them for nesting habitats. And oak acorns provide food for 100+ vertebrate species of wildlife."

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