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North Pond Restoration Update: November 2023

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North Pond is looking fall-fabulous, with a stunning display of colors throughout the trees and natural areas. If you haven’t been recently, we hope you are able to take a stroll around the sanctuary to catch a glimpse of the beauty before it fades. 

As we move further into the season and approach winter, our stewardship volunteer events are winding down. Accordingly, the North Pond Gardeners participated in their last workday at the end of October, clearing out non-native grass to make space for new native plants in the West Prairie. Thanks to all volunteers who helped us steward the Pond in 2023. We’re already looking forward to our work next year! 

Speaking of new plants, we are excited to share that more than 10,000 aquatic plugs will be planted in the pond in spring of 2024. These new plantings will be distributed in four zones throughout the pond and will require some aquatic fencing to protect them from predation (which decimated the original plantings…geese!). You may have noticed an area on the western side of the pond that remains fenced; this is to help establish aquatic plantings that went in this summer. 

As part of planning for North Pond’s long-term management, we recently participated in a site walk with our partners at the Chicago Park District to identify areas ripe for additional seeding and planting that will make the shoreline and vistas even more beautiful. We discussed how future seasons will see more diversity (though we loved all the black-eyed Susans this year!) as the various seeds planted in spring of 2022 begin to grow and bloom. It’s exciting to consider how the pond and its ecology will continue to evolve over time. 

On that note, it is important for all of us to remember that while the most disruptive and apparent phase of North Pond’s restoration ended in fall of 2022, ecological restoration is an ongoing process with no real “end.” Luckily, the Conservancy’s dedication to maintaining the site with the help of our dedicated volunteers also has no end. In the years to come, those who love North Pond can look forward to watching the site further develop and change based on the gains made by the major restoration work, and the ongoing work of our staff and volunteer stewards.  

For questions about North Pond, contact Lincoln Park Conservancy Stewardship Manager, Maeve Callaghan.

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