Danada Wetland Mitigation Project
The DuPage County Countywide Stormwater Flood Plain Ordinance (Stormwater Ordinance) allows for wetland mitigation to be provided through an in-lieu fee program. These funds, paid by developers to off-set small permitted wetland impacts where traditional wetland mitigation options are not feasible or are unavailable, are used to create large scale wetland creation projects.
In partnership with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, DuPage County Stormwater Management has begun a project to create and restore wetlands and prairie at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton. The mitigation area is located on the south side of Butterfield Road a half-mile west of Naperville Road. When the project is complete, approximately 21 acres of wetlands and 23 acres of prairie will be restored. Complete funding for this project has been provided by developers that have received a DuPage County stormwater permit to impact wetlands.
Drainage tiles that were installed many decades ago for agricultural purposes will be disabled to provide a source of hydrology to the wetland. A berm will be constructed within the mitigation area to hold additional hydrology flowing into the area. The mitigation wetland will be planted with a variety of wetland plant community types to create habitat for native wildlife. In addition, the wetland will help absorb rain water in times of flooding and soak up pollution and nutrients to improve water quality.
As part of the best management practices, a sediment basin next to Butterfield road is also part of the construction. This small basin will collect and filter stormwater before it enters into the wetland complex.
Upon completion of construction, the vegetation will be managed for a minimum of five years to ensure that the planted native species become established throughout the wetland area. Management activities including high-mowing, herbicide application, prescribed burning, etc. will be completed to target and eliminate undesirable weedy species.
Wetlands are protected under the Stormwater Ordinance because they are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services including storing floodwaters and helping to reduce the impacts from storm damage and flooding, maintaining surface water flow during dry periods, protecting and improving water quality, and providing fish and wildlife habitats. They are also important sites for biodiversity.