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North Pond Restoration Update

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Summer is in full bloom. A walk around North Pond is a testament to that statement. Black-eyed Susan’s have begun their long and beautiful blooms that will continue throughout summer. If you love what you see now, just wait, over 15 other native plant species were planted with these early-establishers and will bloom next season to create a vibrant and colorful masterpiece for us all to enjoy.

While these plant species are thriving at North Pond, the aquatic plants we planted in the pond last summer have not done well due to predation and weather.  Aquatic plant species will play an important role in the restoration plan and are intended to add new habitat to the pond, while stabilizing the shoreline (both above and below the waterline) and trapping sediment and nutrients before they reach the pond. The fencing in the pond was intended to protect these plants as they grew and matured. Unfortunately, we will need to replant many of these areas next spring once the plants become available from nurseries.   

In the meantime, we will be removing the temporary aquatic fencing in August to allow free flow and access between the pond and shoreline for wildlife. We know that this temporary fencing has been a concern to many (including ourselves) in that it hampers and impedes turtles, aquatic birds, and other animals (and their young and newborn) from freely accessing the pond and each other. Additionally, when we do replant next year, we will implement a slow and steady approach where we will focus on planting smaller sections of the pond sequentially and fencing off much smaller areas. This will ensure there is plenty of open water and pond access for the many living things that rely on it.

Flycasting

While it looks like not much activity is happening now at the pond, we are working with our Chicago Park District partners and the contractor to wrap up other project loose-ends while looking to the future. We’re already putting together plans for additional plantings and site work once (and while) the initial phase of the restoration project comes to a close. Our next phase will also include the comprehensive restoration of the historic casting pier. Work involves stabilizing the existing structure, replacing the crumbling staircase, adding perimeter bumpers and accessible access for persons of all abilities, and the addition of a boardwalk that will provide an amazing new vista from which to enjoy the plants and animals of North Pond. Learn more about our efforts to restore the historic casting pier and how you can help here.

With summer in full bloom, there is a lot to see at North Pond, as evidenced by the pictures included with this blog. Please share your pictures with us by tagging us on FB, IG, & Twitter and using the hashtag #LP4Me or emailing us at info@lincolnparkconservancy.org. Thank you for your continued support! Enjoy your summer!   

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