A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from the Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve and neighbors concerned about the condition of Strasma Woods.

For those of you not familiar with this, it is a little hidden gem of a wooded area on Duane Boulevard just above Beckman Park. The creek running through the woods goes through Beckman Park and down to the river. My dog Bella and I take daily walks through the woods on the two loop trails. In recent years, trees have fallen on the trails and blocked them, and the grass strip next to Duane Boulevard has tended to be overgrown and unsightly.

So what did we do? We didn’t point fingers and blame, we got down to a plan to keep the woods maintained and the grassy strip next to the street cut. The neighbors’ kids goes to the local schools and they are going to use the Woods for Science projects and perhaps litter pickup. This is what happens when people focus on their common ground — we got a lot done. We solved a problem and we were all better for our efforts.

Steve Kelley


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