DuPage forest preserve looking to acquire former nursery
The West Branch Forest Preserve in northwest DuPage County could grow by nearly 7 acres if the forest preserve district acquires a former nursery near Bartlett.
Forest preserve commissioners on Tuesday authorized negotiations to acquire the former Prestige Nursery and Garden Center along Army Trail Road. The roughly 6.8-acre site is west of the preserve's main entrance.
"This gives staff permission to go in and have those conversations," Executive Director Ed Stevenson said.
Stevenson said the district tried years ago to negotiate a deal to buy the land, but those talks "had been quiet for a while."
The situation changed when the owners contacted Commissioner Al Murphy about reopening the talks.
"This time around, the landowners might be in a different place," Stevenson said. "We're glad they reached out."
It's not known how much the owners want for the property. Once a purchase price is determined, it will be up to the forest preserve board to decide whether the district will buy the land.
"It would be a great addition if we're able to come to terms," Murphy said.
Murphy said he hopes the deal becomes a reality because the former nursery could be added to the 713-acre preserve, which features Deep Quarry Lake and Bass Lake. In addition, a stretch of the West Branch of the DuPage River snakes through the preserve.
Murphy said one benefit of the former nursery site is that it's immediately north of Bass Lake.
"It's a nice size parcel that backs up to Bass Lake," he said. "It would give people easier access to Bass Lake."
Stevenson said it's rare for the district to have an opportunity to acquire large pieces of land.