We’re partnering with KEEP ELMHURST GREEN, a grassroots group of Elmhurst community members and neighbors who passionately believe in preserving green space. We’re currently focused on the green space located between Third and Schiller Streets.
This tranquil open space, which once served as a buffer between the old Elmhurst Hospital complex on Berteau Ave., was gifted to the City of Elmhurst from Elmhurst Hospital. The green space is under a covenant, to remain untouched until April 10, 2025.
In 2021, Elmhurst City Council began assessing its land assets. In early 2023, the City narrowed its focus to parcels with development potential — including this green space — that could be sold to pay down stormwater debt. In September 2023, Council passed a sales tax increase of half a percentage point, expected to raise $4 million a year, to pay for past and upcoming stormwater projects.
With stormwater debt accounted for, we’re asking the City of Elmhurst to enter into an intergovernmental agreement for the green space — which was gifted to them — with the Elmhurst Park District, to ensure it remains open space, requiring no additional financial commitment beyond routine maintenance.
WHY SAVE THIS SPACE?
According to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Open Space Conservation: Investing in Your Community’s Economic Health, open space:
- Is crucial to a community’s economic health
- Provides multiple environmental benefits
- Increases quality of life
- Mitigates flooding
- Protects natural habitats and biodiversity
- Increases energy efficiency for surrounding homes
- Increases carbon capture
- Improves air quality
- Reduces noise pollution
- Reduces the heat island
- Increases property values in adjacent neighbors, bringing higher tax revenue
- Prevents rising costs of public infrastructure and services associated with urban sprawl. Revenues from growth often aren’t enough to pay for rising demands for public services like schools, police and fire protection, roads and sewers.
Join the KEEP ELMHURST GREEN Facebook page: facebook.com/groups/KeepElmhurstGreen; scroll through the page to learn more about our advocacy efforts.
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