The Great Tollway Landscaping Theft by John Devona

In 1960, Western Springs began beautifying the new Tollway. But, their efforts were quickly undermined by thieves. In late 1959, the Western Springs Beautification Commission began exploring the possibility of planting trees and shrubs along the shoulder of the brand-new Tri-State Tollway, just west of the village. This would provide a sound barrier, reduce the glare of headlights from passing cars, and beautify the village. This would also be the first such program undertaken by … Continue reading

Western Springs versus the Dutch elm disease

In the 1980’s, every resident dreaded seeing a reddish/orange dot on a parkway tree. Each one marked the end of a wonderful shade tree.   In the 1890’s, forward-thinking village fathers began planting parkway trees in the yet-to-be-developed neighborhoods of Western Springs. One of the most popular trees was the American elm which, when fully matured, formed a beautiful green arch above the street. In fact, by 1955, there were nearly 3,500 American Elms lining … Continue reading