Big Rock, IL
Deer Valley Golf Course closed
Forest Preserve to transition Deer Valley Golf Course back to natural area as part of improvements to Big Rock Forest Preserve
The Forest Preserve District of Kane County announced plans April 12 to transition the Deer Valley Golf Course site back into a restored natural area, as an addition to Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock.
The District’s Planning & Utilization Committee approved the restoration plan, March 25.
Closing the golf course would have various natural resources benefits.
“Big Rock Creek is one of the most-pristine creeks in Kane County. By removing the potential for chemical and nutrient runoff from the golf operation, we are helping to protect this important waterway and improve habitat for wildlife,” said Natural Resource Management Director Ben Haberthur.
“Mussels are present in Big Rock Creek, including the state-threatened Spike Mussel. Mussels act as water filters; they constantly work to filter-out bacteria, algae and pollutants, and thereby improve water quality. The Mottled sculpin, a state-threatened fish, is also present in Big Rock Creek. Additionally, bald eagles nest at the site and have been seen fishing in Big Rock Creek,” he said.
During the restoration of the area, flood protection will be incorporated. “Currently, there are a series of culverts that move water at the site. We’re going to leave this culvert system in place, but use best-management practices to create improved drainage that will accept and filter water through the site, prior to reaching Big Rock Creek. This will improve water quality as well as reduce flooding in the area,” said Executive Director Monica Meyers.
Transition of the 17.5-acre property to a more-natural setting will incorporate the following natural area restoration projects:
- A prairie restoration will encompass 12.5 acres.
- Four acres will be restored to an oak woodland.
- A one-acre wetland restoration will include the current pond and a treatment train to improve area flood control and water quality.
- A three-quarter mile trail will be installed amidst the newly restored area. The new trail will connect to the 10-mile trail system already in place at Big Rock Forest Preserve.
Meyers said the decision to close the par three, nine-hole golf course included many factors. “The golf course is at least 21 years old. It existed prior to the District’s purchase of the property in 2000. When the District made the investment in the property, the purpose was always to expand the adjacent Big Rock Forest Preserve and to protect the Oak woodland and Big Rock Creek.
“The Forest Preserve District has continued to evaluate the condition and natural resources there. We planned to operate the golf course until such time that we could restore the property. Additionally, the course was at the point where it required a number of costly capital improvements,” she said.
For golfers looking for an alternate facility, the District owns two other golf courses — Hughes Creek Golf Club in Elburn and Settler’s Hill Golf Course in Geneva. Settler’s Hill is closed for a full remodel, this year, but is expected to reopen in summer 2022. Meyers said both courses would better meet golfers’ needs.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, visit our website at www.kaneforest.com or call 630-232-5980.
The District has an established commitment to golf. We own two very successful 18-hole golf courses. They, too, require capital improvements. The Commission committed to totally renovating Settler’s Hill Golf Course as well as improving Hughes Creek Golf Club:
Settler’s Hill Golf Course Improvements (at an estimated cost of $6,800,000):
- Renovation of 18 hole course
- State of the art, on-demand irrigation system
- New Driving Range/Practice Area
- New 4-Hole Short Course Learning Center
- Expected to reopen to the public in Summer 2022
Hughes Creek Golf Club Improvements (at an estimated cost of $450,000):
- New maintenance facility
- Parking lot and drive resurfacing
- Closed for Restoration