1995-1997: Mill Creek Watershed Preserve

The Prairie Green Preserve project began in 1995 as the Mill Creek Watershed Preserve. This proposed 1,103-acre site would serve as a water reuse facility for Geneva and the west side of St. Charles.

Wastewater treatment would be done through a 14-day aerated lagoon treatment and land application system. The plan also called for recreational fields, trails, flood control storage, a lake and wetland mitigation bank, and prairie restoration.

Funding for the project would be obtained through a $10 million in general obligation bonds, selling wetland credits to developers, leasing land for farming and the selling of harvested prairie seed.

In 1997, the general obligation bond referendum passed with 82 percent of the vote. However, the Mill Creek Watershed Preserve project did not advance.

This was due to the large amount of land required for proper lagoon/land application wastewater treatment, as well as technological uncertainties associated with using lagoons/land application for wastewater treatment at such as large scale.