PLAINFIELD, Ill. — A complaint about tubing on the DuPage River could end up shutting down the waterway to the public altogether.
During the height of the pandemic last year, Kris and Scott Most had an idea. Their company, Plainfield River Tubing, sends groups of tubers down the DuPage River every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the summer.
In the middle of the route sits 46 homes. One of the homeowners, whose backyard backs up against the bank of the river in downtown Plainfield, recently filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“It’s very peaceful, serene, we like to sit and enjoy the birds and the wildlife and so forth. That all changed mid-last year,” Plainfield resident Michelle Dixon said. “The property owners along the river own the property, the riverbed and the river half way across. And to us, it’s like trespassing.”
The state could rule the DuPage River is private, which could shut down public access to the entire area, despite public kayak and tube access designed by the state itself.
“We went through all the proper channels, we met with the village, we met with the park district, we went to DNR,” Kris Most said.
While residents said they don’t want the river totally private, they do want people to allegedly stop urinating in their backyards, trashing the river and scaring away wildlife.
“It’s a scene of constant parties, music blasting,” Dixon said.
While some floaters are unaware of the feud that’s been brewing, avid users of the river have started a petition to keep it public.
“Our goal is to show the organizations and government bodies that are making these decisions that there are a lot of people that use the 28.3 mile DuPage River for recreational purposes and want to continue to do so for generations and generations,” part of the petition reads.
The DNR is still investigating the initial complaint. The tubing company said they constantly pick up trash and do not allow people to drink alcohol.