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Ottawa Eyeing Large Nature Preserve Along Fox River

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

The city of Ottawa will soon extend its city limits 253 acres to include a new forest preserve.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach and members of The Conservation Foundation Tuesday morning announced a plan to turn land along the east side of the Fox River and south of Interstate 80 into the Dayton Bluffs Preserve.  Eschbach says the land was almost turned into a housing development but the recession hit.

The conservation group says the future preserve has over 160 species of native plants, fossils and some significant Native American archeological sites.  Through private grant funds, the Conservation Foundation has already worked out a deal to buy the acreage for 2.1 million dollars.  They’re still raising money another 150 thousand dollars for a three-year restoration effort to get rid of invasive species, clear some trees out, turn farmland into forest and make walking and biking trails.

The city plans to annex the land this summer and maintain the trails, parking and picnic areas.  It should be open for public use sometime next year.

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