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Nature center headed to LeRoy Oakes

Published: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 3:45 p.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Kane County Forest Preserve District personnel are looking forward to November, when the environmental education staff at Tekakwitha Woods plan to relocate to a new nature center at LeRoy Oakes.

"We're excited about it," said Laurie Metanchuk, director of community affairs.

Creek Bend Nature Center will be housed in a 1930s building that, according to forest preserve district documents, the agency is spending about $1.5 million to renovate and improve.

A grand opening celebration should be held in the spring, Metanchuk said.

The nature center is west of the preserve proper on land the forest preserve district purchased, Metanchuk said. Visitors to LeRoy Oakes, 37W370 Dean St., likely hadn't noticed the building until the forest preserve district began removing some trees to improve trails, she said.

Crews are restructuring the trails used by cross country meets so that the athletes won't have to run over the interior road, Metanchuk said, noting the forest preserve district got input from athletic directors at local high schools.

"This is an attempt to improve their cross country course," she said.

Tree removal as part of the trail improvement project was scheduled to end today. The work closed portions of the trails north of Dean Street, but temporary mowed trail detours were created where possible.

New road construction was also completed at LeRoy Oakes from late July to mid-September.

Metanchuk said the complete trail realignment won't be in full effect until next year.

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