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May 29, 2015
New Use for Former School?
Elgin and the Kane County Forest Preserve District are discussing the possibility of turning the former Fox River Country Day School into open land. Various possibilities were floated, including the forest preserve district taking ownership of the former school property, or the forest preserve district being granted use of the property in exchange for maintaining it. The city acquired the former school in April 2013 as a gift in a three-way transaction with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the forest preserve district, which took ownership of part of the land that includes protected fen. The property has been sitting empty and unused since.

Cemeteries are Community Assets

There are countless neglected cemeteries around the nation—some that are under municipal jurisdiction and many others under the stewardship of religious institutions or non-profit organization, where funding long-term upkeep is a huge struggle and the risk of sustained neglect is very real. But there are creative solutions that can help some cemeteries get the resources they need that also help give new life to these final resting spots. The historic Congressional Cemetery in Georgetown near Washington, D.C. offers an interesting case study of what a cemetery can be. In the Victorian era, cemeteries were often viewed as vibrant public spaces. Instead of being viewed solely as final resting places, cemeteries such as Congressional earned mention in tourist guidebooks and became gathering places for weekend outings.

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