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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

During rainy conditions, streets flooded and the River Trails parks in Mount Prospect near the Des Plaines River were often left muddy and inaccessible for play. Now two new projects and a partnership between the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), Village of Mount Prospect and the River Trails Park District have new water infrastructure and park space amenities in place to create attractive park spaces also designed to manage increasing amounts of stormwater.

MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos and staff joined the Village of Mount Prospect Board of Trustees and the River Trails Park District Board of Commissioners for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 26 at Burning Bush Trails Park in Mount Prospect to mark the completion of Levee 37 interior drainage improvements that allowed for multiple upgrades to the Burning Bush Trails and Aspen Trails parks in Mount Prospect.

“As the last few days of rain have shown, we at the MWRD have a serious job on our hands managing stormwater. Rain is coming down with more intensity, and as it flows to our water reclamation plants, we have increasing water to manage,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele.

The first project completed in Mount Prospect at Burning Bush Trails Park includes the construction of a detention basin and 54-inch pipe connection to existing storm sewers to better hold and discharge up to 4.37 million gallons of excess water during heavy rains. The project will provide flood relief for 32 structures within the Levee 37 interior drainage area just west of the Des Plaines River. In addition, park district improvements will include athletic fields on the east side of the park, including the complete reconstruction of two baseball fields with short retaining walls for seating, new dugouts, staircases and handicap-accessible ramps. An underdrain system and irrigation system were also installed throughout

the basin to improve water management and conservation.

“We commend the Village of Mount Prospect and River Trails Park District for coming forward to take responsibility for this increasing stormwater demand and helping us protect our water environment,” said Commissioner Spyropoulos.

“The River Trails Park District is extremely excited to have completed this outstanding park with the help of MWRD and the Village of Mount Prospect on the east side water retention area and the Village and IDNR on the west side playground and recreation amenities,” said River Trails Park District Executive Director Bret Fahnstrom. “This park space is a shining example of a cooperative venture which can help an entire community from toddler to active adult.”

Less than a mile north of Burning Bush Trails Park, project partners also committed to similar upgrades at Aspen Trails Park in Mount Prospect. The Aspen Trails improvements include construction of a 17 acre-feet underground stormwater detention vault beneath the existing park footprint, equipped to store more than 5.5 million gallons of water. The underground detention system in the park, a new storm sewer under Aspen Drive, and the curbs, sidewalks, driveways and parkways restoration were recently installed with additional monitoring to come over the winter. This project will provide park upgrades and underground flood storage and associated relief sewers at Aspen Trails Park to provide flood relief for approximately 100 structures.

“The Village of Mount Prospect is extremely grateful to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the River Trails Park District for their willingness to participate in such a unique and consequential public improvement,” said Sean P. Dorsey, Director of Public Works, Village of Mount Prospect. “Without financial support from MWRDGC, and a cooperative approach to land use by RTPD, it would not have been possible to construct this much-needed stormwater improvement.”

Between Burning Bush Trails Park and Aspen Trails Park, the MWRD has agreed to contribute more than $4.4 million to complete these critically important projects.

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Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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