Knoch Knolls Nature Center
The Naperville Park District is constructing the District’s first staffed nature center at Knoch Knolls in 2013-2014. The center will feature indoor and outdoor educational exhibits, two classrooms, public restrooms, and a deck overlooking the pond. Related outdoor improvements include a permeable paver parking lot, multi-use trails, a nature playground, an expansion of the disc golf course, and a renovated canoe launch. The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2014 with the Nature Center opening by September 2014.
September 2013 Update
Construction is now underway on the Knoch Knolls Nature Center. The foundation is complete and the project is proceeding according to schedule. The earthwork at Knoch Knolls Commons, north of Knoch Knolls Road was finished in August to increase stormwater storage at Knoch Knolls Park.
To prepare for the planned expansion of the 9-hole disc golf course to an 18-hole course at Knoch Knolls Park next spring, the Park District needs to clear weeds and invasive shrubs from a five-acre area to the west of the parking lot. After hearing success stories about an eco-friendly way to remove invasive plants, the Park District hired a herd of goats to graze at Knoch Knolls Park for four weeks this fall. The goats arrive Tuesday, Sept. 24 and will stay for approximately four weeks. Learn more.
Read Chicago Tribune article about Kim Hunter's Green Goats
Map of fenced in area for goats (updated 10/09/13)
9/19/13 - Plans Taking Shape for Knoch Knolls Nature Center and Park Improvements
6/18/13 - Knoch Knolls Nature Center Groundbreaking
3/8/13 - Plans Taking Shape for Knoch Knolls Nature Center and Park Improvements
Preliminary Plan Documents
View Location Plan
View Proposed Nature Center Site Plan
View Building Floor Plan
View Nature Center Rendering
New Nature Center Address Map
Nature Center Interpretive Exhibits Building Floor Plan
Nature Center Plant and Animal Communities Interpretive Board
Nature Center Project Q&A
"Research shows that, at least for kids, a combined indoor and outdoor environmental education experience is more effective than an indoor only or outdoor only experience. This is especially true for kids that don't get exposed to nature on their own. In winter, many families won't seek outdoor experiences with nature because of the elements. Therefore, nature centers provide "safe" places for families with kids to experience nature in winter, where they would otherwise just stay inside at home. Nature centers enhance the outdoor experience for most people."
- Brook McDonald, President/CEO, The Conservation Foundation
"Knoch Knolls - just by itself - has had an impact on over 2,500 Maplebrook School fourth graders - and 400+ parent chaperones - over the past 25 years, and it holds a special place in my heart. The spirit of the proposed center is admirable: environmental education, modeling of environmentally-friendly features, its design complementary of the existing meadow and lake."
- Jane Brueggemann, retired teacher
Questions or Comments
Photos (click to enlarge)