BARTLETT, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced a tentative new agreement that will help to ensure James “Pate” Philip State Park provides additional service to the park’s thousands of annual visitors. IDNR will share the cost of operating and maintaining programs and facilities at the park with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and the Bartlett Park District, IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood announced today. The parties are in the process of finalizing details of the new agreement, with formal approval expected within the next two weeks.
“We are delighted to join our partners from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and the Bartlett Park District in sharing the responsibility and the cost of operating this important and unique park,” Flood said. “We all share the goal of providing visitors to the park with an interesting and educational experience while they’re here, and this agreement will further that effort.”
The agreement for maintaining and operating the park will allow visitors to participate in programs and see displays in the park visitor center on weekdays and Saturdays. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has managed the site under terms of an intergovernmental agreement and lease approved in 2002. The new agreement adds the Bartlett Park District as a partner.
Under terms of the agreement, the IDNR maintains ownership of the 501-acre state park located at the boundaries of DuPage, Cook and Kane counties.
The IDNR will continue to provide funding for utilities, telephone service, trash pickup and recycling services for the park visitor center.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will continue to provide programming and operational assistance along with habitat restoration of the park’s natural areas. The Bartlett Park District will expand its current nature center programming while providing additional staffing for daily operation of the park’s visitor center and development of educational programs for area residents.
D. “Dewey” Pierotti, Jr., president of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, stated, “I’m proud that the Forest Preserve District is part of this new partnership that is good for everyone involved, most importantly the visitors to James ‘Pate’ Philip State Park and the thousands of schoolchildren that will benefit from the excellent educational programs available at the site. On behalf of the Forest Preserve District, I also want to express my appreciation to the Governor’s office, the IDNR and the Bartlett Park District for the tremendous spirit of cooperation that was exhibited among the agencies in making this new agreement a reality.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Bartlett Park District to expand its nature center and educational opportunities not only for the people of Bartlett but also for nature enthusiasts in all of Chicagoland,” said Marianne Cordell, president of the Bartlett Park District Board of Commissioners.
Both President Pierotti and President Cordell said the new agreement is an example of what can be accomplished for the public good when different governmental agencies work cooperatively together.
The new agreement will be in place through July 31, 2007, when the original five-year agreement between the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and Illinois Department of Natural Resources ends. The three agencies are looking forward to working on an agreement for future years.
James “Pate” Philip State Park opened to the public in 2003. The park also houses the IDNR Region 2 offices.