Kane County community pools money to install turtle crossing signs

Turtle crossing signs were installed in a Lily Lake community on Monday after neighborhood families came together to fund the project to protect their neighborhood turtles from vehicle traffic.

Turtles have inhabited the retention ponds on either side of East Sunset Views Drive, between Twilight and Autumn lanes, for as long as residents can remember and often cross the road to get from one pond to the other. As the Kane County neighborhood has continued to develop, the increasing traffic on Sunset Views Drive has made crossing the street more dangerous for the reptilian residents.

Families in the Sunset Views community have a neighborhood tradition of helping the turtles cross the road. For years, residents of all ages have been on “turtle watch” to ensure turtles get from pond to pond safely.

Tired of seeing turtles get run over by cars on their street, Sunset Views residents Cindy Braden and Abby Drommerhausen took matters into their own hands and raised funds to install turtle crossing signs in the neighborhood.

Braden reached out to the village of Lily Lake about the signs this spring and received a quote for the cost. But she was told the money was not in the budget. She reached out to the community, Drommerhausen started the fundraiser, and support quickly started pouring in.

The money for the signs was raised through a GoFundMe with the goal of collecting $550 to cover the cost of the signs, installation and fees to the fundraising site. The fundraiser received $831 from 27 donors. The additional $284 was donated to the Kane County Forest Preserve Foundation’s Adopt a Turtle Program.

Drommerhausen and Braden have each lived in Sunset Views for more than a decade and said the wildlife in the community is important to many families in the neighborhood. They both came out to watch the signs get installed on Monday morning.

Braden said that while most neighborhood residents know about the crossing area and drive through it cautiously, those unaware drive too fast to see the turtles crossing. She is hoping the signs will make more people use caution.

“The signs are so cute,” Braden said. “I can’t imagine that people are not going to slow down when they see them.”

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