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History of the Hobson Oak Project

The Hobson Oak Project

The Hobson Oak project is being managed by the Naperville Parks Foundation. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

The Naperville Parks foundation is a non-for profit whose aim is to make outdoor recreation more abundant and accessible to the community by working together with public organizations, private entities, other nonprofits, and community members. DuPage County and and the Naperville Parks Foundation are working together to preserve the legacy of the majestic Hobson Oak, which was carefully taken down November 17, 2016.

Want to participate?

Are you interested in getting involved in the Hobson Oak project? We are looking for local artisans, individuals, and businesses to volunteer or commission pieces of artwork from the Hobson Oak. Items will be auctioned for charity.

Background

A Legacy Tree in DuPage County

The Hobson Oak was located near Hobson and Greene Roads in DuPage County, Illinois. It was a legacy bur oak  that stood proud and strong since pre-settlement days. It has been carefully taken down. Over many decades the tree was pinched and challenged by urban development.

The Hobson Oak began on the Illinois prairie in the river valley now known as the East Branch of the DuPage River. The footfalls of buffalo and Native Americans created a trail alongside its flourishing limbs. In the 1830’s a dirt road carrying wagons, cows and horses brought settlers under its shade. Next came the farmers gravel road spewing grey dust onto its leaves as the county grew. The road was eventually improved to a two-lane asphalt road.

In recent years the tree’s roots were cut to widen Hobson Road and accommodate concrete curbs and gutters. On the other side of the tree a nearby multi-use bike trail was built and a fire hydrant put in place.

The majestic Hobson Oak was carefully taken down November 17, 2016. The idea is to sell saplings and woodcrafts of the Hobson Oak to benefit local charities. Acorns are being germinated by the Morton Arboretum. Wood will be kiln dried and given to local artisans to create artwork that will be auctioned for charity.