St. James Farm: New Entrance, Parking, Trails and Plaza
Entrance and Parking Lot
Construction began in July 2012 on a new Winfield Road entrance 0.25-miles north of Butterfield Road. The project added northbound and southbound turn lanes on Winfield Road and a 2,000-foot long asphalt drive leading to a 50,000-square-foot permeable paver parking lot near the existing red brick stables, which offers year-round access to the main farm area. Construction ended in the June of 2013 and was completed under budget.
The old Winfield Road entrance to the farm will be removed in 2014 as part of the trail construction project. The entrance and turf parking areas off Hoy Avenue will remain open for special use events.
Welcome Plaza and Donor Wall
The new welcome plaza next to the permeable paver parking lot features an area of permeable pavers, a raised garden, enhanced landscaping, and sculptural and interpretive elements that create a well-defined, inviting arrival area, where people can gather and learn about St. James Farm before exploring the preserve. A rebuilt courtyard arch and wall also offers a possible place for the District to recognize donors.
Construction of the Welcome Plaza and associated improvements began in April of 2013 and was completed in June of 2013.
In February 2011 the District received a $200,000 grant from the federally funded Recreational Trails Program. The grant will fund 1.7 miles of new limestone trails, which will take visitors throughout the forest preserve and connect to the Illinois Prairie Path. This project will also include the removal of the existing entrance on Winfield Road once the new entrance is completed.
In addition to the grant, about $600,000 from the District’s capital development budget will help fund the trails. Construction is anticipated to be completed by the summer of 2015.
Current satellite tracking aerial map.