Requests for New or Improved Facilities, Amenities & Infrastructure

People cutting a ribbon at the opening of Camp Shabbona Woods.
The ribbon cutting ceremony at Camp Shabbona Woods in 2015.

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Trail Requests

Requests for new trail construction, trail improvements or community trail connections are accepted on an ongoing basis using the form below.

Because our list of worthy projects for trails, facilities, amenities and infrastructure continues to outpace our available funding, new requests have the best chance for success when supported by the local municipality (city, town or village) or established organization that benefits from the proposed trail. If you have identified support for your request—from a local municipality, grant or other source—please indicate it when filling out the form below.

Within 15 business days we will notify the requester that we received the application and whether it meets our initial criteria for consideration. Initial criteria include:

  • Request is not located within an Illinois Nature Preserve
  • Request is not an “exclusive use,” as defined by our Position Papers
  • Request has support from a local municipality or an established organization

If the application meets the basic standards, the full evaluation process may take up to six months.

Other Facility, Amenity & Infrastructure Requests

Facility, amenity and infrastructure requests will be evaluated as part of the annual update to the Forest Preserves’ 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Receipt of requests will be acknowledged within approximately 15 business days and forwarded to the Forest Preserves Department of Planning & Development.

Although every effort will be made to address safety concerns and smaller repair requests right away, review and decisions on most capital improvement requests will not be made until the fall of each year as part of the annual CIP update process. The annual update to the CIP process begins in July of each year. Unfunded requests from prior years are updated and evaluated along with new requests.

All requests are evaluated for consistency with the guiding principles of the latest CIP and recommendations included in the position papers Moving Toward Racial Equity, Acquisition and Disposition of Land, and Nature-Compatible Recreation. Reviewing these principles and recommendations will help you provide a clear and compelling case for your request.

Please note that the idea of “exclusive use” is an important framework for determining if a new amenity will be considered. Exclusive use is defined as limiting use of the preserves to a small group of users, often involving closing off an area, and may require a fee or permit for entry or use.

For this reason, we are not considering certain requests to add to some of the Forest Preserves’ existing set of amenities, such as model airplane flying fields, aquatic centers and our three regional off-leash dog areas, which provide an appropriate set of options for this activity in the Forest Preserves. (Visitors to the Forest Preserves are welcome to bring their dogs on a leash at the vast majority of our locations and trails.)

Request Form

Please include only one request per submission.

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