The master plan called for improvements to the wildlife medical clinic, walking trials, visitor center, and woodland property. It included renovation of the main building into a highly efficient animal-care facility with improved workflow and amenities to support the center’s 8,000 animal admittances per year. A two-story addition to the south would house a new Visitor Center with expanded indoor animal exhibits and educational space on the first floor, and staff and administrative office functions on the second level. In addition, parking was expanded and traffic flow was improved. Creekside natural play areas and other trail enhancements were also added.
In support of public engagement and education, we developed an Ecosystem Restoration Plan to transform the preserve into a showcase of typical natural areas that exist throughout DuPage County. We studied existing soil and hydrological conditions to create recommendations for how to restore these areas to a quality similar to their pre-settlement conditions. Plant and animal diversity were maximized and connections were created between the habitats, with a focus on interpretive displays and exhibits.