North Pond Nature Sanctuary

The Restoration

North Pond Nature Sanctuary

Address: The 15-acre sanctuary is located in Lincoln Park between Fullerton and Diversey Parkways, and Stockton and Cannon Drives.

Hours: 6 am to 11 pm every day

Daytime Phone: (773) 883-7275

Handicapped Accessibility: The North Pond Nature Sanctuary is handicapped accessible, except for certain mulched shoreline paths and the fly-casting pier.

Visitor Etiquette: While visiting North Pond Nature Sanctuary, please:

  • No fishing — the pier is for fly-casting practice only.
  • Protect habitat by staying on the paths.
  • Do not pick flowers or remove natural elements.
  • Dogs and bicycle-riding are not allowed on the shoreline nature trails.
  • For their own safety, please keep dogs leashed and out of the water.
  • No swimming or boating allowed.
  • Keep off ice in winter

Why We Ask You Not to Feed Wildlife:

  • Feeding birds at the Pond is a fun interaction, but harmful in the long run. Human food is not meant for their digestion, and leftovers attract rodents.
  • Feeding waterfowl can disrupt natural migratory behavior.
  • Feeding ducks and geese increases their numbers and alters the ecosystem. Huge flocks of these birds pollute the water and litter the lawn with their droppings. When birds are crowded, diseases spread more quickly.
  • Birds need natural nutrients from a diet of plants, seeds, and insects. Bread and human food are like junk food, filling their stomachs with unhealthy food that can make them sick. It also discourages birds from foraging for natural food.
  • Feeding causes dependency on people and make birds susceptible to human abuse or harm when they become trusting of everyone they approach.
  • Feeding wildlife makes them bold. When animals lose their natural fear of humans, it causes uncomfortable, even fearful, encounters with park visitors who do not trust or like such close encounters with wild animals.

In 2022, the Conservancy completed the major work in the $7.3M restoration of North Pond, funded with the generous support of over 550 individual donors. The project comprehensively dredged the pond; graded, restored and replanted its eroded shoreline; and added sustainability features including a natural polymer liner and park underdrains to combat water loss. The project also included park improvements including new benches, paths and lighting to upgrade visitors’ experience. The initial phase of the North Pond project comprised the building of the Sunshine Playscape, a nature playground adjacent to the Pond, in 2019. The final component of the restoration phase will focus on adding nearly 70 new trees, hundreds of native plants, and thousands of native seeds during the spring and summer of 2023. Once completed, our true stewardship of the Pond will begin with the help of our dedicated North Pond Gardeners and corporate volunteers. 

Details: In 1999, North Pond was rehabilitated by the Chicago Park District and the Lincoln Park Conservancy, and renamed the North Pond Nature Sanctuary. What was once a landscape filled with Kentucky blue grass and lilac bushes soon became a thriving, natural ecosystem built around a diverse palette of native plants that provide food, shelter, and breeding habitat to local and migrating wildlife. Today, over 150 plant species attract 220+ bird species and numerous small mammals, reptiles, insects, and amphibians.

The Lincoln Park Conservancy has continually maintained the North Pond Nature Sanctuary since its 1999 rehabilitation. We provide a full-time Site Manager and two seasonal employees to help maintain the pond, and offer volunteer programs and events.

Restoration Status: Restored 2019-2022; stewardship ongoing through our NP Gardeners and corporate workday programs.

Location: The 15-acre sanctuary is located in Lincoln Park between Fullerton and Diversey Parkways, and Stockton and Cannon Drives in Chicago, IL 60614

Owned and Managed By: The Chicago Park District

Maintenance and Programming By: The Lincoln Park Conservancy

Current Size: 15 acres

Original Landscape Architect: Swain Nelson and Olaf Benson


Check here regularly as up-to-date resources and information will be shared throughout the spring and summer.

  • Get the latest news on the North Pond Restoration in our weekly blog series.
  • View a “before/after” shoreline diagram to see how North Pond’s shoreline grading and planting will help ensure its health long-term.
  • The North Pond Restoration project is in the news. Click here for April 2022 press.
  • For additional North Pond artist’s renderings click here.
Artist’s rendition of the completed restoration at North Pond
Aerial View of North Pond


The Lincoln Park Conservancy began work on the North Pond Restoration Project in April.  Through December 2022, the following project components have been completed:

  • dredging of the Pond to increase depth and improve water quality,
  • grading and planting of the Pond bottom and banks to reduce erosion and runoff,
  • increasing the Pond’s watershed by adding drainage in the surrounding park to direct stormwater to the Pond,
  • automating the Pond’s municipal water source to reduce reliance on and use of city water,
  • ‘lining’ the Pond with a natural polymer flocculant to reduce water loss to groundwater,
  • adding new vantage points and vistas,
  • installing new fencing to protect natural areas and reduce soil compaction,
  • planting of submergent plants to stabilize the Pond bottom, and
  • seeding of the Pond’s shoreline with native plants that will add additional habitat around the Pond.


The last major component for the project’s first phase will be extensive planting of the Pond’s shoreline during the spring of 2023 with over 70 new trees, hundreds of native plant plugs, and thousands of additional native seeds.

Stay tuned for details on our public celebration of North Pond’s restoration on Earth Day 2023 (Saturday, April 22).  At this event we will launch our ongoing community stewardship campaign and kickoff our 2023 season of our North Pond Gardeners stewardship program to help keep North Pond healthy and vibrant for years to come!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make the project a reality!

North Pond Restoration Project Timeline



A General Guide of What to Expect:


  • April 2022: Mobilization; fencing installed.
  • May: Erosion control measures; removal of dead or compromised trees.
  • June-July : Dredging operation; storm-sewer and drainage.
  • August – mid-September: Bank restoration, pond grading & path improvements.
  • September-November: aerators installed; turf replacement.
  • December: Application of natural polymer flocculant liner to reduce water loss to groundwater
  • April 2023: North Pond Restoration Project celebration (April 22), launch of 2023 North Pond Gardeners volunteer stewardship program
  • April-June: Planting of native trees, plants, and shrubs along the Pond’s shoreline
  • June 2023: Project completion, Phase 1.

Short-term Human & Wildlife Impacts:

While restoration work is taking place at North Pond, there will be some short-term impacts on humans and wildlife. However, the Lincoln Park Conservancy is committed to ensuring minimal disturbance of the animal and human visitors:

  • Our staff and contractors walked the site this spring to identify and mark for protection key nesting areas.
  • Additionally, dredge workers will be able to clearly observe the materials being gathered up from the Pond bottom and to relocate any wildlife unintentionally disturbed.
  • Finally, portions of the Pond will remain wet even during the dredge to ensure habitat for aquatic life.

What You Can Expect:

  • Path closures
  • Fencing
  • Tree removal
  • Nesting and migration — We will use an adaptive strategy to protect key nesting sites and habitat.
  • Aquatic species — Portions of the Pond will remain wet and contractors will observe exactly what they are gathering during the dredge process and relocate animals that may be disturbed.

Learn More and Get involved

Speak with a Champion

Join North Pond Gardeners

Attend or Host a Meeting

Watch a recording of the public meeting with the Conservancy on Wednesday, April 20th at 6pm.

You may also schedule a one-on-one or small group presentation with Executive Director Rafael Rosa.

Volunteer North Pond Champions are in the Park during the warm weather seasons to answer questions and share news about the North Pond project. Look for individuals wearing a green apron! Email us if you’d like to train as a Champion.


Ellen AbneeLindsay AbneyAnne Abramson and Basil Chaltas
Marco AcevedoMarco Y Mayra AcevedoCindy and Narendra Acharya
Katherine AgleFriedrich and Penny AhadiOlga Alario
Anneli AlersElizabeth AlexanderNicole Allegretti
Danny AltkornJames and Sheila AmendAmerican Endowment Foundation
Judith AndersonKaren AndersonMary and Paul Anderson
Anglers' Club of ChicagoDana Angotti-Novick and John N. Novick, Jr.Anonymous
Julia AntonatosNick ApostalKristen Appelson
Kate AriasErin ArnoldSanibh Aryan
Marlena AscherHenry BachoferAnnette Bacon
William BaderAnne Stiles BaganJan Bail
Daphne BailleHelen BakerJohn and Linda Baker
Stuart BakerAndy BakkerBob Balanoff
Carolina BallinesJennifer BanasTom Banghart
Bridget BarnesJim BarrettPeter and Betsy Barrett
Josef BarrickRebeca BarrosoBaskin Family Foundation
William BaudeMary and Tom BauerKimberly Beis
David BeltJenny BenefieldAllison Bengfort
Susan Benner and John MeeksElisa BensonLawrence Berlin
Shirlee BermanZina BermanKveta Bermanova
Jennifer BernsteinBo BeslachAyon Bhattacharya
Amy BickersHilary BingleBrad Black
Lauren BlackburnBlanchard Family FundJerry Blanchard
Tiffany BlanchetteMark and Holly BlanksteinSuzanne Blaydes
Bernard BlayerJessica BogartMichele Boglio
Sandra BolesConstance BonbrestHeather Bond
Leslie BornsMark and Eszter BorvendegAnnie Bourneuf
Paul BoydPeggy Boyer LongKaren Brach
Al BraunNancy BresekeLaurel Breuer
Alison BrillBriana BriscoeLibbie Briscoe
Rebecca BriscoeJames BroekingAlyssa Brown
Cory BrownEvan BrownThe Brunelli Family Charitable Fund
Andrea BrysonJenny BuchowiczJane Buckwalter
Lisa BurnsKelsey Burr and Stacy Rene ScapinoThe Cairn Fund
Conrey CallahanDeanna CankarWilliam and Emanuela Carney
Gillion CarraraCatherine CarterLisa Centone
Anthony Ceravolo and Shisha AmabelJoseph CesarikRobert Chambers
Chicago Community FoundationChicago Park DistrictRobert Chirinko and Barb G. Cohen
Sierra ChmelaDavid CholstKatie Cibulsky
Barbara ClevelandClara CoenMarcia Coffman
Midge CoganAiden CohanAndrea Cohen
Wendy CohenChristina CollinsNicholas Collman
Stephanie CombsMichelle M. ComellaJeremy Conover
Lori CookVeronica CookEric and Judith Cooper
Marsha CooperDennis CorbinCaroline Corboy
Kaitlin CordesAnn CorkeryJoseph P. Cothrel and Linda A. Heban
Jeanne CouchmanKatherine CraigValerie Craig
Bill CreedKelley CrismorePeg and Ken Crismore
John CrowleySamantha DahlstromBert Daiberl
Moshe Naor DanieliDeborah DarrMuhammad Darwish
The David Pattis Memorial FoundationCathy DavisJanet Dawson
Ryan DawsonPatricia DearingDane Deasy
Darcie DecaprioKatianna DehlinKristina Dehlin
Donna Del PrincipeJac DellariaDonna Demille
Kali DenisMary DietrickRyan Dincher
Ts Coco DiverseyHailey DoctorJoseph Doherty and Gretchen Hoffmann
James and Debbie DonahughCaitlin DonatoDanyang Dong
Tom and Barbi DonnelleyBrooke DonnellyPhilip and Marsha Dowd
Sandy DoyleDr. Scholl FoundationGale Dreas
Rich and Ingrid DubberkeSarah DucoinKristin Dulcan and Ray Camp
John and Deanna DunaganAmy DunckerLorrie DuPont and Nick Lynn
Gerson EckerRobert EdgerJoann Eisenberg
Margee EliasTracy ElliottStephen Elpern
Ashley ElskusGeoffery EngelMargaret Enger
Robert EnnisViktoria ErhardtCameron Estes
Everest Family FoundationCot Eversole
Elisha FaberJulia FarmerMelissa Farruggia
Angela FayadDoug FeinsteinMegan Fellman
John FencikThomas FerrellMatthew Fischel
Dawn FisherSheila FlemingMarcia Flick
Sarah and Fred FlosiBarbara Fosco and David N. MissnerBen Foster
Amanda FoxAndrew FoxPaul Francuch
Michael FrankensteinJennifer FrantomJanet Franz
Monica FreelandNurit FriedbergBarbara Friedman
Alexander FrontCarla FunkClaire Gadbois
Wendy GallagherRuth GanchiffErika Gangware
Maria GarciaLauren GardnerChristy Garvey
Jennifer GaspersDorothea GastevichStacey Gattuso
Lillian Geary-ForchPatrick GianarasDavid Gilbertson
Jill GilbertsonArlene GillMary Joan Gilmour
Chris and Alyssa GlimcoChris GoldrickJanine Goldstein
Roger GolecNathaniel GonnerMatthew Gonwa
Adrian GonzalezJane GoodmanJames Goodridge and Joan Riley
Yasmin GosiengfiaoMichael GraffAndrew Graham
Beverly GrahamKathleen and Michael GrahamRichard and Mary Gray
Jason GreenLaura GreenJohn Grennan
Barbara Gressel and Gary WigodaHeinz GrobTiffany Groth
James GruseckiBarbara GuidoMary Ellen Guy
Beckett HaglundTaylor HaileKelly Hajduk
Ellen HakeRebekah HamiltonColleen and Heather Hammell
Aaron HammondCarol HammondGretchen Hane
Kris Hansen GallagherHarderVirginia Harding
Meighan HarmonMartin HarperJessica Harrison
Mary HarveyCaroline HarwoodPenny Harwood
Robert and Rita HaveyDiane HellerJulia Heller
Virginia HelmDale HendricksKatherine and James Hepp
Robert and Dorothy HernquistDana HerpeKiley Heth
Sally HewittSi HighMatthew Hill
Sara HockDanielle and Jim HoegAnn Hoenig
Natalie HoldenBrad HollandAlice Hoos
Susan HornDonald HorvathLola Hotchkis
Craig and Pam HowardJack HowardPhillip Hoylman
Nancy HriljacKevin HsuErick Huck
Christine HudsonMelissa Huff and Richard AlkireNick Huggett
John HurleyLiane HurstonRobert and Saran Hutchins
Illinois Clean Energy Community FoundationSue ImremDana Inouye
Tim and Kathleen IsleyTamima ItaniAlexander Itkin
Jill JacobbiThomas JamesCharles Janda
Patty JenkinsWilliam JentesJim Beam Brands, Co.
John & Carol Walter Family FoundationAdel JohnsonEric Johnson
Jerry and Karen JohnsonKathleen JohnsonMargaret Johnston
Andy JonusaitisJoyce FoundationNancy Juda and Jens Brasch
Lorraine and Steve KaufmanMichael and Rosalind KeiserDiane Kelliher
Lorraine KellsScott KellyKatherine and James Kennedy-Kartheiser
Rebecca KerlinLouise KeshaviahThomas and Pascale Kichler
Lia KimLauren Kincaid-FilbeyChristopher King
Rosemarie KingSylvia and John KinneyKay Kirkpatrick
Lolly and Tim KirkwoodRay KlebbaGale and John Klein
Kathryn KleinSanford KleinNicholas Knuth
Kathleen KoehlKatie KolbergGary Kolesar
Anna KopskyJudith KossySusan Kovic
Alicia KozikowskiEthan KrafftLauren Krause
Hilit KravitzKrehbiel FamilyKaren Kroc
Shelby KroegerRonald and Anstiss KrueckJoseph Kryza
Nicole KueblerPaul KuhnJustin Kulovsek
Michael KundertMary KupjackNami Kurita
Elizabeth KurmanGlenn LakenVirginia and Frederick Langrehr
Cary Latimer and Julie E LasinJim LauerJudith Lauth Casey
Janet LawrenceMatthew LazarJoseph Lee
Dahlia LeffellElaine LehmannLong Le-Khac
Sara LenartNeal Lenhoff and Matt KunkelScott Lennox
James and Susanne LenzThomas LeshMarc and Angie Levenstein
Heidi LevinMichael LevinZachary Levin
Dr. and Mrs. Levine LevineKevin LI and Lori SugarmanJoanne Libfeld
Samuel A. Lichtenfeld and Melanie H. KahnJeffrey Liem and Hilit KravitzBecki Lindley
Brian LindstromMichael LiskaKathleen Logan
Sharon LohmRyan LongPedro Lopes
Mabry LulliMargo LyonsAnna Lysakowski
Tracy MMarilyn M GearyKathleen Mackay
Anthony MaggioreMaria MaldonadoBill Maloney and Mary Selby
Charles MangumS. A. MannMansueto Foundation
Scott ManzlerMargot & Thomas Pritzker Family FoundationJenny Marks
Samantha MarshTodd and Martha MartinMichael Martineau
Heidi MassaElise MasurWil Matthews
Clark and Sari MaxfieldRobert MayfieldNancy McAndrew
Dennis McAvoyWoody McCallyPhil McCarthy
Claudia McDermottBrigid McGrathMaggie McGuire
Erin McInerneyMatt & Ashley McKeeMatt McKee
Anne McKibbinBill and Leoni McVeyLori Meek
John MeeksAdi MehtaColin Meier
Jerome MeitesGary MellmanMark Melton
Anchit MenawatClaudia MendelsonCharles Mesh
Max and Katie MeyersMark MicheliShawn Michols
John MikoszAndrea MillerDavid and Joan Miller
Donna and Ted MillerLinda MillerMelissa Miller
Patricia MillerSandy and Jonathan MillerMark Millington
Eunhee MilutinovicJoseph MinardiLori and Michael Mitchell
Danish MohammedKaveh MoiniNancy and Bob Mollers
Robert and Nancy MollersLaura MongelloJohn Montague and Patricia Aluisi
James MontanaAndrew and Allie MoranJennifer Morgenstern and Burgess C. Wilson
Linda MorningMegan MullenMike Mullen
Melinda and James MunsonBruce MurphyMadeleine Murphy
Marilyn and David MusellCharles and Nancy NadlerRosemary Nadolsky
The Nagib FamilyKaren NaranjoTheodore Naron
Jack and Cheryl NealLindsay NeilsonMarianne Nesler
Stacie NewmarkDung NguyenKathryn Niedner
Natasja NielsenJohn and Janis NotzAnthony Nuval
Philomena O`HalloranKevin O`KeefeMary O`Neil
Colin O’BrienSharon O’BrienNancy O’shea
Martin and Bonnie ObermanAllyn ObyrneGeraldine Oconnor
Yutaka OishiKevin OlsonChris and Lauren O'Neill
The Oppenheimer Family FoundationAmy Osborn
Nina PadgettMaria PandolfoSusan and John Papadopulos
Bernadette ParfenoffHelene ParisChristopher Parsons
Susan S. PastinJohn and Nancy PatekAnurag Patel
Yash PatelPatricia PatesKarl Peet
Jacques and Beverly PerretKristin PetrovichPhilip D. Block III Family Foundation
Nikki PiermariniMatthew PlachyRob Plotke
Susan PolachekStephen PorvinDrs. Jodi L. and Glenn M. Preminger
D. Elizabeth PriceJane PriceAbby and Dave Prinn
The Pritzker Pucker Family FoundationKate ProudfootBarbara Provus
Matt PudnosMatt and Mandy PulleyBaihu Qian
Susan QuaintanceLea RadickSteven Radtke and Dianne Goren Radtke
Norman and Helene RaidlDorothy RammJulie Rand
Giselle and Mark RatainRob RauchLynn Raymond
Aaron ReedBrandon ReedJanet Reed
Jim ReichardtChar ReinholdSharon Repka
Michael RichmanChristophe RidetJeremy Riel and Jessica Hunter
Hector RiosCarey RobertsElizabeth Roberts
Andrew RobertsonLeah RobinsonNeal Robinson
Julie RocapDesiree RogersJudith Rose
Burt and Sheli RosenbergLinda RosenthalIlina Rosoklija
Thomas RossRoss Family FoundationAnthony Rosso
Eric and Lindsey RothfederJoseph RubelEitan Rude
Wayne and Mary RussellDiana and Ed RuthmanBuzz and Tina Ruttenberg
Alyse RynorLouise RyssmannCynthia Sadkin
Leonid SagalovskySusan SalpeterPat Samata
David and Nancy SarneJanet ScanlonKathy and Dave Schanding
Eileen SchatzSteven ScheinElizabeth Schenkier
Nancy SchlackRonald and Joanne SchlacksMarge Schlesinger
Jessica and Joseph Schneider GlaserMichael SchneidermanDonald and Susan Schopfer
Keith SchuitMary SchulatzStuart Schulman
Marian SchulzMary Ann SchwartzSusan Schwartz
Mindy SeidlerPaul SelwoldSeveringhaus Family Charitable Fund
Meagan ShallcrossKerry Shannon

The Shapiro Grynsztejn Family Fund of

the Jewish Community Foundation

Adam ShawKate SheehyBonnie and Orrin Shifrin
David ShinerKaren ShmelevAnn Shuman
Roberta SiegelDick SimpsonDavid Sincox
Jill and Steve SmartAndre SmithJane and Carl Smith
Karen SmithKimberly SmithMartin Smith
Merrill SmithAlderman Michele SmithPamela Smith
Russel SmithJonathan SnyderPaul Sowadski
David SperlingDariel StackShirley Staffan
Ronald and Misang StalzleCharles StanfordNola Stark
Peter StecyHeather StefekElinor Stege
Robert and Branka SteinbaughMichael and Salme SteinbergPaul Steinke
Michael StensonRichard StephanReid Stephenson
Denise Stewart and George EngelnHelene StoffeyFrederick Stone
Anaa and Lou StorinoTerrill L StumpfDaniel Sullivan
Eric SullivanTimothy SullivanJohn and Jessica Supera
Andrea SwankJohn SwarensEmily Sweeney
Margaret and Mike SweeneyPeter and Patricia SweeneyJanet Swenson
Kyle SyersJ. Scott SykoraPhilip Szczepkowski
Virginia and Bob SzymkowskiKaryn TaeyaertsGerald Talsky
Cheryl Tama Oblander and Scott OblanderHaley TanzmanSimon Tanzman
Cindy TarpoMichelle TaufmannNolan Tavas
Dale Taylor and Angela LustigPatricia TeplitzJanice Terry
Allison ThawleyLisa ThomasThe Thomas and Deborah Werner Charitable Fund
Charles ThomasonCandace ThompsonNeil and Candace Thompson
Rachel ThompsonAmelia ThorneRobert Tomes and Cynthia Zeltwanger
Hector TorrezMichael and Dana TreisterMark and Rita Tresnowski
Bradley TroastKen TruittAlderman Thomas Tunney
Tod TurleElizabeth TurleySuzanne Turner
Christiana TyeMark and Jim Tyle
Shauna UbersoxBrian UmbenhauerMark Untiedt
Daniel UssishkinIgor UzilevskiyKristina Valaitis
Peter ValeAndrew Van RyzinJohn and Lyn Vaughn
Michael VaynerPeter Vazzano and Sandra G. NelsonSarah Vetrano
Erin ViceljaPeter VilkelisErika Vogel
Chris VoltarelKaren WalaszekEdward Walchak
John WashburnAlicia WasmillerTrudy Weber
Karen WeigertMariette WeinlesAshley Weiss
Weiss-Read Charitable FundMichelle WelchJanice Wernette
Sarah WhitmoreLorna WiddesMackenzie Wiglesworth
Katherine WilkesCleary WilliamsJoe Williams
Richard WilliamsIris WitkowskyRonald and Linda Wolf
Joan WolfensbergerMary WooleverDave Woosencraft
Jennifer WorstellJared WunschSuzanne and Mike Wychocki
Susan WydraMary Kay and Stephen WyshamKaren Yamasaki
Steve and Arna YastrowJustin YeeSloane York
Janice YoungSusan ZabriskieJudy and Lawrence Zager
Mark ZampardoZell Family FoundationNicholas Zeppos
Andrew ZimmermanRobert and Pamela ZimmermanNeale Zingle
Matt Zwicky


Through the generosity of our donors, we’ve reached our $7.3M project budget to restore North Pond. Still, the need for financial support remains ongoing while the Conservancy moves through this construction year, as unanticipated costs may arise. Beyond the restoration, the Conservancy is committed to establishing an endowment to maintain the gains made by the North Pond Project. We appreciate your help!

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