The Bensenville Park District has acquired the historic, five-acre Fischer Farm property, located at 16W680 Grand Avenue in Bensenville, from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for $100,000 through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA).
The park district board of commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the purchase at its Wednesday, June 15 meeting, and the forest preserve unanimously approved of the purchase at its subsequent meeting on Thursday, June 21.
“The Bensenville Park District has managed this historic property since the original lease agreement in 2000,” said Park Board president Rich Johnson. “After years of hard work, we are pleased to approve this purchase agreement, which will allow us to continue our work to restore and preserve this historic property.”
The property conveyance was negotiated with restricted terms for a possible future visitor center limited to 3,000 square feet, an open pavilion limited to 625 square feet, a parking lot limited to 50 spaces and an ADA-accessible restroom limited to 220 square feet. The agreement also contains a conservation easement that ensures the property remains public open space as an historic farmstead into perpetuity.
“The park district has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation and continuation of educating our community about the historic value of Fischer Farm, and we look forward to providing additional programs for the community to enjoy,” said Park District executive director Joseph C. Vallez. “The acquisition of Fischer Farm is a key priority of Bensenville Park District 2.0, in that the acquisition opens up a variety of options for grant funding for program and facility improvements that did not exist for us as tenants of the property.”
The park district has been managing Fischer Farm since signing a 25-year lease agreement with the forest preserve Dec. 19, 2000. The forest preserve acquired the property in 1999.
About the property, its mission and uses
Fischer Farm is among the oldest remaining homesteads in DuPage County, with several restored historic structures, including a log house built in 1836 and a farmhouse circa 1919. The land just north of the cabin has been left untouched and is valued for its original seedbeds. The property borders Fischer Woods, a rare forest preserve with the remnants of prairie, wetland and woodland ecosystems.
The mission of Fischer Farm—based on the park district mission—is to enhance the quality of life through the preservation of local and natural history and through recreational opportunities for all to enjoy. Programs promote the awareness of the historical and ecological significance of the site.
The park district hosts special events, provides tours of the facility, features camps and programs to connect youth to the outdoors and provides the farm as a destination for people to host outings and events.