By Ryan Ostry
Staff Reporter 

Goodman recognized as Outstanding Citizen Volunteer

Activist Dr. Gordon Goodman rewarded for his many efforts


Last updated 11/20/2019 at 4:01pm

Submitted Photo

For more than 25 years, Dr. Gordon L. Goodman has worked to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Downers Grove through his partnership with the Downers Grove Park District.

Throughout his selflessness career with philanthropy, Goodman has helped to secure significant land acquisitions, ensured long-term preservation efforts and evolved educational opportunities at Lyman Woods Nature Preserve and the Downers Grove Museum.

"I think that it's a real tribute not necessarily to my work but to the people like me who have been working in the community to make sure the Park District and the village appreciate the natural and built features of our history," Goodman said.

Because of the dedication and hard work Goodman has displayed, he was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD).

This prestigious award recognizes citizens' volunteer efforts to enhance a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation or special recreation agency program, service, parkland, open space or facility.

The Downers Grove Park District nominated Dr. Goodman for his long-term, outstanding contributions in securing and safeguarding the Lyman Woods Nature Preserve and the 1846 Blodgett House at the Downers Grove Museum.

Dr. Goodman is a founding member of the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance (PDHA), which formed in 1995 to protect the ecosystem surrounding Lyman Woods.

Through determined efforts over the years, he helped to acquire an additional 50 acres at Lyman Woods, which is owned by the Village of Downers Grove, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and the Downers Grove Park District.

"Back awhile ago we actually wanted to help secure land so there wouldn't be as much growth as there is today," Goodman said jokingly. "We wanted to stabilize the land and donate it to the Park District."

Goodman has remained heavily involved with the partnership between the PDHA and the Park District over the years.

For 16 years, the PDHA has provided an annual donation to the Lyman Woods Little Sprouts Program, an environmental education program for all District 58 first grade students.

In 2013, Goodman encouraged the PDHA to provide financial support to install five beehives at Lyman Woods, where eventually the beekeeping program was developed to provide historical relevance to Lyman Woods and offers education opportunities. Within all of the great work Goodman has done over the years, in 2007, Dr. Goodman added to his resume by helping to establish the Downers Grove Heritage Preservation Corporation, a non-profit with the mission to save and restore the historic 1846 Blodgett House.

In 2007, that Corporation developed the "1846 Blodgett House on the Move" fundraising campaign to garner community support for the project.

Also that year, the Corporation acquired the house on behalf of the Park District and moved it to the Downers Grove Museum Campus where it could be restored for educational purposes.

After fundraising and volunteer work spearheaded by the Heritage Preservation Corporation, an exterior restoration of the 1846 House was completed in 2010 and interior restoration plans were completed in 2015.

Although Goodman said he appreciates the award that was chosen to give to him, he remains to have a modest attitude and continues to have the best interest of Downers Grove at heart.

"It's really been great meeting so many people who always want to improve the community of Downers Grove," Goodman said. "This award isn't just for me, it's for everyone who has contributed with all of their hard work that goes into making Downers Grove what it is today."


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