Proposed Knoch Knolls Nature Center
The Naperville Park District will construct 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. The 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.
March 2013 Project Update
After gathering input through several public open house meetings and a series of workshops with a community review team, the Naperville Park District began the design and engineering of the Knoch Knolls Nature Center project in 2012. Construction documents were completed in March 2013 and were submitted to the City of Naperville for permitting. Construction is anticipated to begin in July 2013. The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2014 with the Nature Center opening by September 2014.
As part of the Knoch Knolls Nature Center and Site Improvements project, earthwork is required at Knoch Knolls Commons (north of Knoch Knolls Road and west of the McDonald Farm). The earthwork is necessary to accommodate stormwater storage related to the improvements and is scheduled to be conducted at the beginning of the project. Once the grading activities associated with the earthwork are complete, the disturbed area at Knoch Knolls Commons will be planted with native seed and a temporary erosion blanket installed. Click here for the limits of construction.
Press Release: 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
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
If you have additional questions or would like to comment on the proposed nature center, please e-mail Eric Shutes, director of planning, at
Photos (click to enlarge)