DuPage Captures Kame
While “Special 8” may sound
more like a cereal than property, a triangular 8.3-acre
parcel by that name in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is actually
a remnant with a 30-foot-long kame, a rare glacial hill.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
purchased the property in December.
The kame, called Glacial Ridge, was
once part of a system that sprawled hundreds of acres across
the landscape. Farming and development wore much of this
topography flat, but Glacial Ridge, tucked away between
the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the Chicago, Aurora,
and Elgin Railway (now the Illinois
Prairie Path), escaped major destruction. Illinois Prairie Path President Don Kirchenberg spearheaded
the movement to save the kame. He points out that it is
adjacent to an unbroken one-mile stretch of the Prairie
Path that is a favorite of bike riders.
Plant specialists Marlin Bowles and
Pat Armstrong confirmed the site’s ecological significance.
Its lower reaches are mostly oak woodland, with oaks, aspen,
and hazelnut. The top of the kame is prairie, with dry gravel
soil that supports more than 100 native plants, including
wild hyacinth and pale vetchling, a threatened species in
In 2002, Gayle Homes purchased the property
and proposed the construction of family homes or townhouses.
While the builders maintained that construction would not
harm the kame, it would have required extending Whittier
Avenue across the Prairie Path. The Forest Preserve District
also sought the property and filed condemnation papers against
the owners. Though the owners initially sought as much as
one million dollars, they settled for $375,000. The Village
of Glen Ellyn may agree to manage the site.