After three years of hard work, grassroots fundraising and due diligence, the Lincoln Park Conservancy is poised to start work on the North Pond Restoration Project. A virtual public meeting with the Conservancy, Chicago Park District, project contractors and design team was held on Wednesday, April 20 and had more than 100 attendees. The Conservancy was also pleased to host a groundbreaking ceremony at North Pond on April 21st, 2022 with the Chicago Park District, Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward) and Alderman Tom Tunney (44th Ward). Many Conservancy supporters and several Chicago media outlets were also in attendance. During the ceremony Alderman Smith announced a $50,000 allotment of Ward 43 “menu” money to help cover project costs.
Restoration work will begin in early May. In the meantime, you can expect to see fences installed and the site prepped for the pond grading and dredging that will begin later in the summer. While these sights may differ from what you’re used to seeing in the Park, please know that the Lincoln Park Conservancy’s goal is to have minimal disruption to the humans and wildlife around the Pond. To that end, our staff and contractor team have walked the site with local groups including the Chicago Ornithological Society and Chicago Audubon to identify potential nesting sites and minimize impact on avian habitat. We are also working with the Chicago Park District and Illinois Department of Natural Resources to ensure the proper care of turtles and other sensitive species during the restoration. As the project moves forward, the Conservancy will employ an adaptive management strategy with the health and safety of wildlife as a top priority. The pond will always have areas that stay wet, even during the dredging process.
As the work begins and throughout the summer, we look forward to engaging with our neighbors and supporters about the restoration project and answering your questions. If you’d like to learn more now, you can view a project timeline, explore digital resources including FAQ’s and find the latest news on North Pond project page of our website. You can also email us and set up a time to discuss the project.
With community support, we reached our goal of $7.3M to make North Pond’s restoration a reality. Donations are still welcome as unforeseen costs may arise during construction, but financial support is just one way to contribute to the project’s success. If you’d like to get more involved, consider joining us as a volunteer North Pond Gardener or Champion. Email us for more information about volunteer opportunities.