WHEATON – The Wheaton Park District will undertake two projects totaling up to $1 million to be completed in November, according to district Director of Planning Rob Sperl.
The district will bid out a project to restore the eroded shoreline of Elliot Lake and has planned a $420,000 effort to install permeable pavers by its main administrative offices and by Cosley Zoo.
The areas are in dire need of work and the renovations had been planned for several years, Sperl said, because runoff from the parking lot goes into the lake, which was designed to hold stormwater.
"There is a pipe in Elliot that connects to Winfield Creek, and the berm that separates them is just disintegrated," he said. "So we want to reshape the shoreline and put in some natural vegetation, similar to what we did in Northside Park."
Sperl said the plants will not only hold the soil and slow further erosion, but will serve as a filter for contaminants such as road salt – something the permeable pavers will require much less of. He said the parking lot has been "falling apart for many years" and the work, which will be done by V3 Companies of Woodridge, is overdue.
Though permeable pavers are slightly more expensive to install than normal pavement, according to Sperl, the upkeep costs make it much more affordable.
Both projects will be eligible for a grant for 20 percent of the total cost from DuPage County, he said.
The contract for the lake work will open for bid in August and is anticipated to be approved during the district Board of Commissioners meeting Aug. 20.
Though the final plantings could be pushed to early 2015 to avoid the winter, Sperl estimates both projects will be completed by November.
"We like doing these kinds of projects – aesthetically pleasing, environmentally responsible," he said. "It gives the wildlife something to eat, a place to stay – there's very little downside."