Happy Spring! The temperature outside today as I write this doesn’t fully say ‘spring’ but the weather over the past few weeks and the upcoming forecast assures me/us that spring is here. With its arrival, we are excited to get back to work at North Pond. The coming week(s) will see a lot of activity as our contractors work through a variety of punch list items, including: dealing with a drainage issue in the southeastern corner of the lawn north of the Pond, removing soil piles leftover from fencing installation last fall (fun fact: these piles will be given to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to be used for a fun—and dirty—Earth Day activity), installing/reinstalling park turf where disturbed, assessing and replanting aquatic plant plugs as needed, re-seeding the shoreline with a native plant mix, replanting the West Prairie natural area that was disturbed during construction, fine-grading of mulch paths and top-coating the limestone path on the west side of the Pond, among others.
Once punch-list items are complete and the weather warms, we will begin planting native plant plugs in key areas and, in early summer, we’ll plant 70 birch, oak and alder species of trees. We recently visited the nursery where the trees are being raised. We can’t express enough how beautiful these trees are and what a difference they will make to human visitors and the birds and animals that will enjoy them even more than us in years to come.
In early April, you will also see our contractor working to cut openings in the temporary aquatic fencing to provide nesting birds and turtles access from the pond to the shore. Our thanks to our birding friends who identified this issue and helped us pick the best spots for these openings!
Finally, while the restoration work at North Pond is winding down, our commitment to its long-term stewardship and care is just getting started. Join us from 10-12 on Earth Day, April 22, as we launch our 2023 North Pond stewardship season. Afterward, from 1-4, join us, our partners who utilize the pond regularly for birding and flycasting, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for fun-filled, North Pond-focused family activities to celebrate Earth Day and our beautiful corner of this amazing planet. More info and a registration link can be found here. As always, thank you for your support! Happy Spring!