The Village of Barrington is honored to have been chosen to receive the prestigious Governor’s Hometown Award as well as an American Public Works Association Award for its Joe Kelsch Sr. Dreamway Trail project, a newly refurbished bike and pedestrian path running alongside the revitalized Flint Creek that connects three of our very significant places in Barrington. The Dreamway Trail runs from Langendorf Park at one end to Barrington High School on the other and was the culmination of the partnership efforts of area governments, nonprofits, and volunteers. But, like so many efforts of this nature, it started as the dream of a citizen, Joe Kelsch Sr. to create a bike and pedestrian pathway from the high school to the park.
The Dreamway Trail is named in honor of the late Joe Kelsch Sr. to memorialize his persistent vision within the Flint Creek Watershed. This restoration was made possible by community partnerships and volunteers’ vision of creating a beautiful and dynamic natural area within the Village of Barrington.
More than 25 volunteers gave 1,250 hours of their time to support the project. It was also supported by a $516,000 Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant (this sum also includes financial contributions from the Village of Barrington, the Barrington Park District, and District 220 schools). Before, this portion of Flint Creek was one of the most endangered in Lake County. Today, when members of our community walk along its banks, they see a significantly improved streambed with newly installed native plants and trees, as well as a beautiful, family-friendly pathway that provides convenient connectivity for our residents to walk or bike from one area of town to the other.
This project truly highlights what can be accomplished through the hard work and passion of dedicated volunteers and also illustrates the tremendous value of inter-governmental partnerships.
We are very grateful and honored to have been chosen for this award, and we thank all those volunteers who have worked so hard to see this project come to fruition.
Celebrate the Ribbon-Cutting of the Joe Kelsch Sr. Dreamway Trail with Community Walk on June 26. Meet at Langendorf Park near the Splashpad at 10:00 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting and brief remarks, then walk the trail with your friends and families. The entire trail is approximately 1.5 miles roundtrip.
To view drone footage of this project, click here.
To learn more about the Dreamway Trail and the Flint Creek restoration, view the presentations for the American Public Works Association Award and the Governor's Hometown Award.
Joe Kelsch Sr. Dreamway BEFORE Restoration
Joe Kelsch Sr. Dreamway AfTER Restoration