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DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development recognized the Village of Villa Park as the winner of the 2015 Municipal Development Award for Trail Programming and Implementation Dec. 3.
Villa Park won the award for its enhancements to the Illinois Prairie Path as well as its path programming. Recent Prairie Path projects in Villa Park include replacing the path lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs and installing new drinking fountains.
In addition, several community events throughout the year center around the Illinois Prairie Path in Villa Park such as Summerfest, Joyful Traditions, Paws on the Path and numerous 5 Ks. Several historical buildings line the Prairie Path in Villa Park including the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce and the Villa Park Historical Museum.
According to the Chaddick Institute, “The Village has played an exemplary role in programming the trail for events throughout the year, engaging local community groups (including businesses) and spurring the revitalization of public spaces and buildings surrounding this public amenity.”
The Institute worked with Trails for Illinois to find municipalities creatively integrating and leveraging trails in their community.