Little Friends expands | Lunar New Year celebration | Oak Cottage preservation efforts

NCTV17 news slate for January 17, 2023 with Greene Barn in background.- Little Friends expands, Lunar New Year, Oak Cottage featured in story
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Little Friends expands its facilities

Little Friends is expanding, purchasing the 62,000-square-foot facility right next door to its school in Warrenville.

President and CEO of Little Friends Mike Briggs shared the news in Positively Naperville. He said the new site would allow the group to move its adult service program from Downers Grove to Warrenville, offering more space for job training and personal development.

That includes job training programs targeted at the neurodiverse community, pioneered by a Florida group called Helping Autistic Adults Prosper and Excel (HAAPE). There are also plans to add a design lab focused on problem solving through creativity.

Lunar New Year celebration at Fox Valley Mall

Fox Valley Mall in coordination with the Xilin Association of Naperville and the Chicago Huaxing Arts Group is planning a Lunar New Year celebration for January 28.

They’ll usher in the Year of the Rabbit in the mall’s Center Park with live performances, games, and a number of activities. Those will include an interactive Chinese calligraphy demonstration, a Chinese yo-yo demonstration, DIY Chinese lantern crafts and a Chinese handkerchief dance demonstration.

The event will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available on the Fox Valley Mall website. 

Winning photo in Forest Preserve District of Will County contest

The votes are in, and this year’s grand prize winner of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Preserve the Moment photo contest is Shorewood resident Joe Viola.

photo of vulture by Joe Viola

Photo courtesy: Joe Viola

Viola scored the win among last year’s monthly winners with this photo of a turkey vulture taking in the sights at Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet. He netted a $500 MasterCard gift card for his efforts.

Second place went to Romeoville’s Chad Morsch for a photo of a fox squirrel enjoying a meal, with third going to Naperville’s Bertrand Leclerq’s shot of an eagle with outstretched wings. Both received MasterCard gift cards as well, for $250 and $150 respectively.

Naperville Preservation submits Oak Cottage to endangered places list

Naperville Preservation has submitted Oak Cottage in the Greene Valley Forest Preserve for consideration on Landmarks Illinois’ 2023 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois List.

The historic preservation group puts together a list each year to help draw attention and support to spots around the state that they’d like to see preserved. The Oak Cottage was built in 1850 by Williams Briggs Greene, one of the first settlers in the then new county of DuPage. Six generations of the Greene family spent time living there.

The cottage is under the jurisdiction of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The district’s proposed master plan calls for examining the condition and history of the property, to determine whether a third party may use it within the next three years, or if it should be demolished. Read more about that and local activists’ efforts to keep the structure as well as the neighboring Greene Barn here.