The following is a release from the Clarendon Hills Park District:
Kruml Park, the newest property in the Clarendon Hills Park District’s network of parks and open lands has a whole new look this fall with the official completion of the “Suburban Habitat: Nature Between Our Neighborhoods” project, a natural pathway and re-creation of a native Illinois landscape at the west end of the 2.4 acre multi-use park.
The improvements include a 600-foot walking trail created from an all natural wood fibar material, newly planted oak trees, native plantings and educational signage in a half-acre area of Kruml Park, located in the 5600 block of Western Avenue.
The project was partially funded through a generous grant the Clarendon Hills Park District received late last year from The DuPage Community Foundation.
Kruml Park is the only one of the eight Clarendon Hills Park District properties that has a wooded section, and the enhanced area is now designed for both educational programs and recreational walks.
The “Suburban Habitat: Nature Between Our Neighborhoods” development is designed to bring visitors back to the native prairies which dominated Illinois more than a century ago. These tracts of land featured areas of dense oak woodlands and rich wetland habitats where a diverse community of plants and wildlife thrived. As this land was converted into farms and communities were developed, only small pockets of these habitats remained.
Natural plantings which now dot the landscape at Kruml Park include the Black-eyed Susan, Little Bluestem, New England Aster and the Butterfly Weed. Visitors to this natural area may catch a glimpse of a northern cardinal, a downy woodpecker, a red-tailed hawk, and monarch and tiger swallowtail butterflies.
The signage recently installed at the park provides a historical overview of the native Illinois prairie and describes some of the plants and wildlife found in this habitat.
“The Clarendon Hills Park District is grateful to the DuPage Community Foundation for their generous support of this effort," park district executive director Don Scheltens said. "Children and families in Clarendon Hills can now enjoy a walk rich in both outdoor education and the natural history of our community.”
Kruml Park was developed on property once owned by the late Jerry and Bessie Kruml, longtime residents of Clarendon Hills. The Clarendon Hills Park District purchased the land in 2008, with assistance with funding through a grant from the State of Illinois’ Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Fund.
In addition to the new woodland area, Kruml Park also features a playground and soccer field. Kruml Park is the first Clarendon Hills Park District property south of 55th Street.