Bring your ideas to a Calumet-Sag Trail town meeting
What is your vision for the Calumet-Sag Trail?
Extending between Lemont and Burnham almost entirely along the banks of the Calumet-Sag Channel and the Calumet River, this 32-mile, multi-use ribbon of green will be a magnet for new businesses and tourism dollars, an off-road way to commute to work, a recreational treasure trove and more. (View a map of the trail.)
Now that trail construction has begun, the Calumet-Sag Trail Coalition, comprising the public agencies developing the trail, want your input on making it a popular destination. What amenities would you like to see along the trail? Shops? Restaurants? Residences? Nature preserves? Outdoor concerts? Public art? Ways to tell the region’s stories?
Plan within a plan
The Coalition wants to know what you think. It is holding a series of public meetings to obtain input from residents in the communities the trail will pass through. The goal is to develop a plan for each community that reflects its own priorities and needs, while blending with an overall plan for the entire trail.
In particular, planners want to hear what trail enhancements you would like to see in your community, how the trail’s signage and wayfinding information should look, and what you want to tell trail users about your community – such as highlights of local history, points of interest beyond the trail or other hints of local flavor.
Let your voice be heard
Let your voice be heard at a public meeting on Monday, August 15, 7-9 pm at the Village of Palos Park Kaptur Administrative Center, 8999 W. 123rd Street, Palos Park. Or attend the public meeting Wednesday, August 17, 7-9 pm at the Alsip Park District Apollo Recreation Center, 12521 S. Kostner Avenue, Alsip.
Planners have also prepared a survey to understand residents’ preferences about the trail, and to augment the outcomes of the public meetings. (One lucky survey respondent will win a $100 Visa gift card. Fill it out here.) Even if you take the survey, the Calumet-Sag Coalition seeks your input at your local meeting.
A long time in the making
Planning maps as far back as the 1970s promoted a multi-use path along the Calumet River and Calumet-Sag Channel. Work began in earnest seven years ago, when representatives from several south suburban municipalities; county, state and federal; and nonprofit organizations held a series of meetings about turning the concept to reality.
Upon receiving federal funding, the Calumet-Sag Trail Coalition was formed to manage development of the trail. The City of Palos Heights and the City of Blue Island are the lead agencies of the Coalition, which also includes the Village of Palos Park, Alsip Park District, the Village of Dolton, Dolton Park District, the Village of Riverdale, the City of Calumet City, the Village of Burnham and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail; Southwest Conference of Mayors; and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance provide support to the Coalition.
The trail's status
The trail’s design and engineering are under way and have been made possible by federal and state grants. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced funding for construction of the initial trail portions last fall. Now the Coalition partners and the Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, are raising funds from public and private sources to build the trail and enhancements.
People, planet profit
Sustainability is at the heart of what the Calumet-Sag Trail offers, providing benefits of strengthening local economies, reinforcing and protecting the corridor’s natural and historical legacies, and improving people’s quality of life.
Trail Fast Facts
•More than 185,000 Southland residents live within a mile of the Calumet-Sag Trail.
•The trail links four marinas, three public golf courses, and six nature and forest preserves.
•It connects with five Metra commuter rail lines and 25 Pace bus routes.
•It connects five regional multi-use trails, and other county and municipal trail networks, creating a trail system that stretches more than 500 miles.
•America’s CEOs rank public greenways second in importance when choosing a new location, just behind access to skilled workers.
•A study by the National Association of Homebuilders found that trails are the number one amenity potential homeowners cite when considering moving to a new community
Watch “I Will,” a video featuring residents describing who will ride and use the Calumet-Sag Trail.
For more information about the trail, visit the Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail’s website, where you can also find the public input survey.