Help Save North Pond

Latest Project News

  • On August 26th, 2021, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the Lakefront Protection application for the North Pond project. This approval represented a major step in the project timeline to ensure that work can begin this fall.
  • Check out our latest project Tree FAQ.

Help Save North Pond! Every donation counts!

North Pond is dying, but with your help we can guarantee its future for the humans and animals who rely on it.

Lincoln Park Conservancy will break ground on North Pond’s restoration this Fall. With only $100,000 left to go, you can help us close the gap in fundraising for the $7.3 million project. All gifts, of all sizes, will help save this natural treasure.

Learn More and Share Your Thoughts!

There are many ways to learn about and to share your thoughts or questions on North Pond’s restoration: check out project information under “What We’re Doing”; watch a recorded public meeting or schedule your own virtual presentation; complete our project survey or view project diagrams and offer feedback. Still have questions or comments? Email us anytime.

How Can I Help?

  • Contribute: We’re over 90% to our goal for the project budget, but North Pond’s restoration will not happen without your help! Public funding is not available, making community support critical to the project’s success. Community funding ensures that the restoration’s achievements are maintained through regular stewardship. You can donate here.
  • Volunteer: Help us take care of North Pond! We rely on dedicated volunteers and corporate groups to maintain the Pond’s ecosystem. Our North Pond Champions also need help getting out the word of this important project. Join us in preserving one of Lincoln Park’s only dedicated natural areas.
  • Host a Meeting: Host a virtual meeting with friends, neighbors, or community group to learn more about the project. The more awareness we can build around this, the better! The entire community must #DigDeepForNorthPond. Contact Doug Widener for more information about hosting a meeting.
  • Learn More: Follow progress on our social media: FB @chicagolincolnpark and Instagram @lpconservancyE-mail Doug Widener to set up a 1-on-1 meeting to learn more about the project and how you can help North Pond.

Thank you to our generous donors for helping us help North Pond and all of Lincoln Park!

North Pond Stories

North Pond Is Disappearing

What’s Wrong with North Pond?

Because North Pond is so beautiful, few visitors realize it is a dying ecosystem that is slowly becoming a shallow wetland. The Pond’s health is negatively impacted by:

  • Shallow depth: Many people are surprised to know the Pond’s maximum water depth is only 3 feet, limiting aquatic habitat and inhibiting temperature regulation.
  • High temperatures: The Pond’s water is too warm in the summer, creating algae blooms that prevent healthy aquatic habitat.
  • Erosion: The unstable shoreline is slowly falling into the Pond, leading to sediment and pollution accumulation and shallow depths.
  • Nutrient run-off and sediment: The Pond is filling up with organic and mineral material like fertilizers, grass, leaves, bird poop (yikes!), tree limbs, and more.
  • Canada Geese: The barren, eroding shoreline attracts geese, who contribute to the Pond’s nutrient overload (see above).

Without quick intervention, these factors will kill the Pond as we know it, taking away a beloved human greenspace and destroying urban habitat for many native animal species. But there’s still time! If we work together to #DigDeepForNorthPond, we can save this treasured urban oasis and preserve North Pond not just as part of Lincoln Park’s past, but also its future. With a $7.3 million budget, our restoration project is estimated to begin late Fall 2021 and be completed by the end of 2022.

interactive resources

Explore and learn more about North Pond through activities that connect learners of all ages to the this urban nature sanctuary.

Soil Sampling – Look more closely at what’s under our feet: Open/Download PDF
Cupcake Geology – See through the Earth’s surface with delectable treats: Open/Download PDF
Topographic Mapping – Learn the lay of the land: Open/Download PDF
Bark Rubbing – Identify trees: Open/Download PDF

virtual tours of the nature Sanctuary

We host monthly Wildflower Walks from Spring to Fall to share the wonders of North Pond’s plants and animals with visitors. Check out our 2020 virtual walks below. To learn more about in-person tours, visit our Park Tours page.

Click Here for Video About Why North Pond Needs Our Help

The restoration and long-term stewardship encompass five key phases:

Knowledge

We completed several studies to finish the master plan, including a topographic and boundary study, tree inventory, and detailed pond bottom and sediment analysis. These studies that were completed in summer 2020 added important data to already completed studies, including soil analysis, water quality testing, water balance/hydrology analysis, and depth and sediment studies. We hosted three public meetings attended by over 150 people in Fall 2020 to collect and build on community input provided at earlier meetings.  This input was integrated into the final restoration master plan that was completed in mid 2021.  Additional input from key stakeholders including the Chicago Ornithological Society, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Lincoln Park Advisory Council, North Pond Restaurant, and the several volunteer groups who utilize the historic casting pier helped to shape our plans as did input from hundreds of community members through meetings with community groups, area buildings, and individuals.  Project review and input meetings were held with the Chicago Park District at the 50%, 75% and 90% design thresholds.  The project received Chicago Plan Commission approval on August 26, 2021 and final permits are being reviewed/completed.  We anticipate selecting a general contractor in October 2021 and beginning work by Thanksgiving to be completed by late Summer 2022.   See the timeline below for detailed project dates.

Dredge

Deepen 25% of the Pond to 8’ and dredge remaining pond expanse to remove sediment to increase water circulation and oxygen turnover, decrease water temperature, improve aquatic habitat, and reduce algae growth. Special care will be taken during the dredge to ensure the minimal disruption to resident animals, plants, and the general public.  Dredged material will be dewatered in fenced parkland north of North Pond and re-used in Lincoln Park and at Big Bend Park in South Chicago during the spring of 2022. A recent study found that the Pond, historically, had no bottom liner, increasing water loss below. A new liner, consisting of a natural polymer that will be sprayed in the Pond and settle at its bottom, will increase water retention and reduce city water use. The extensive design work, equipment mobilization, and sediment-hauling  costs all contribute to making the dredge the most significant project cost. All subsequent steps are dependent on dredge completion. 

Edge

Grade and stabilize the pond edge to decrease erosion and pollution run-off into the Pond while providing additional public gathering and engagement opportunities around the shoreline. Areas of gradual slope will be planted with a variety of submergent and emergent native vegetation to stabilize the pond bank, whereas areas of steeper slope will be stabilized with natural limestone outcroppings interspersed with native plantings and public gathering areas.

Sedge

Increase the amount and quality of natural areas surrounding the Pond to foster greater biodiversity, model natural infrastructure techniques, and provide public engagement/education opportunities with urban nature. Plans include doubling the size of the West Prairie (completed 2019), planting hundreds of native trees (ongoing, with phase one completed Fall 2019 and Spring 2020), and installing underdrains and water-loving sedges and other such plants in new natural areas around the Pond to capture and filter storm-water from adjacent parkland. This last component provides an additional water source to the Pond to reduce or eliminate its reliance on municipal water. 

Pledge

North Pond’s restoration is directly dependent on community support and involvement, with 100% of project funding coming from private donors and foundations. Without support from the community, North Pond’s restoration will not be possible. Community investment will also be vital to the Pond’s long-term stewardship and care. Our restoration efforts are focused on developing consistent, long-term community commitments to North Pond through volunteer stewardship, public awareness, and educational programs. Learn more about how you can get involved below or donate/start your own crowdfunding page for the project here.

Project Timeline

Planned Diagrams and Renderings

(Files are draft, not final)

Additional Project Resources

Resources

Meetings

In November 2020, the Conservancy hosted virtual public meetings to discuss North Pond’s restoration. You can view the presentation or watch the recording of this meeting.

Or you can schedule a presentation for your group or building by E-mailing Doug Widener.

Feedback

Offer your comments and submit questions related to the North Pond Restoration project by completing our online survey. Visit the link below to offer feedback on key project elements.

Click Here To Meet The Project Team

Thank you to all our North Pond Campaign Donors!

Ellen Abnee Lindsay Abney Marco Acevedo
Marco Y Mayra Acevedo Cindy and Narendra Acharya Katherine Agle
Friedrich and Penny Ahadi Olga Alario Anneli Alers
Elizabeth Alexander Nicole Allegretti Danny Altkorn
James and Sheila Amend American Endowment Foundation Mary and Paul Anderson
Judith Anderson Karen Anderson Anglers’ Club of Chicago
Dana Angotti-Novick and John N. Novick, Jr. Julia Antonatos Nick Apostal
Kristen Appelson Kate Arias Erin Arnold
Sanibh Aryan Marlena Ascher Henry Bachofer
William Bader Anne Stiles Bagan Jan Bail
Daphne Baille John and Linda Baker Stuart Baker
Andy Bakker Bob Balanoff Carolina Ballines
Jennifer Banas Tom Banghart Bridget Barnes
Peter and Betsy Barrett Jim Barrett Josef Barrick
Rebeca Barroso Baskin Family Foundation William Baude
Kimberly Beis David Belt Jenny Benefield
Allison Bengfort Susan Benner and John Meeks Elisa Benson
Lawrence Berlin Shirlee Berman Zina Berman
Jennifer Bernstein Bo Beslach Ayon Bhattacharya
Amy Bickers Hilary Bingle Brad Black
Lauren Blackburn Blanchard Family Fund Jerry Blanchard
Tiffany Blanchette Mark and Holly Blankstein Suzanne Blaydes
Bernard Blayer Jessica Bogart Michele Boglio
Sandra Boles Constance Bonbrest Heather Bond
Leslie Borns Mark and Eszter Borvendeg Paul Boyd
Peggy Boyer Long Karen Brach Al Braun
Nancy Breseke Laurel Breuer Julia Briggs
Alison Brill Briana Briscoe Libbie Briscoe
Rebecca Briscoe James Broeking Alyssa Brown
Cory Brown Evan Brown The Brunelli Family Charitable Fund
Andrea Bryson Jenny Buchowicz Jane Buckwalter
Lisa Burns Conrey Callahan Deanna Cankar
William and Emanuela Carney Catherine Carter Lisa Centone
Anthony Ceravolo and Shisha Amabel Joseph Cesarik Robert Chambers
Chicago Community Foundation Robert Chirinko and Barb G. Cohen Sierra Chmela
David Cholst Katie Cibulsky Barbara Cleveland
Clara Coen Marcia Coffman Midge Cogan
Aiden Cohan Andrea Cohen Wendy Cohen
Christina Collins Nicholas Collman Stephanie Combs
Michelle M. Comella Jeremy Conover Lori Cook
Veronica Cook Eric and Judith Cooper Marsha Cooper
Dennis Corbin Caroline Corboy Kaitlin Cordes
Ann Corkery Joseph P. Cothrel and Linda A. Heban Jeanne Couchman
Katherine Craig Valerie Craig Bill Creed
Peg and Ken Crismore Kelley Crismore John Crowley
Samantha Dahlstrom Bert Daiberl Moshe Naor Danieli
Deborah Darr Muhammad Darwish Cathy Davis
Janet Dawson Ryan Dawson Patricia Dearing
Dane Deasy Darcie Decaprio Katianna Dehlin
Kristina Dehlin Donna Del Principe Jac Dellaria
Donna Demille Kali Denis Mary Dietrick
Ryan Dincher Ts Coco Diversey Hailey Doctor
Joseph Doherty and Gretchen Hoffmann James and Debbie Donahugh Caitlin Donato
Danyang Dong Brooke Donnelly Philip and Marsha Dowd
Sandy Doyle Dr. Scholl Foundation Gale Dreas
Rich and Ingrid Dubberke Sarah Ducoin Kristin Dulcan and Ray Camp
John and Deanna Dunagan Amy Duncker Lorrie DuPont and Nick Lynn
Gerson Ecker Robert Edger Joann Eisenberg
Margee Elias Tracy Elliott Stephen Elpern
Ashley Elskus Geoffery Engel Margaret Enger
Robert Ennis Viktoria Erhardt Cameron Estes
Everest Family Foundation Cot Eversole
Elisha Faber Melissa Farruggia Angela Fayad
Doug Feinstein Megan Fellman John Fencik
Thomas Ferrell Matthew Fischel Dawn Fisher
Sheila Fleming Marcia Flick Sarah and Fred Flosi
Barbara Fosco and David N. Missner Ben Foster Amanda Fox
Paul Francuch Michael Frankenstein Jennifer Frantom
Janet Franz Monica Freeland Barbara Friedman
Alexander Front Carla Funk Claire Gadbois
Wendy Gallagher Ruth Ganchiff Erika Gangware
Maria Garcia Lauren Gardner Christy Garvey
Jennifer Gaspers Dorothea Gastevich Stacey Gattuso
Lillian Geary-Forch Patrick Gianaras David Gilbertson
Jill Gilbertson Arlene Gill Mary Joan Gilmour
Chris and Alyssa Glimco Chris Goldrick Janine Goldstein
Nathaniel Gonner Matthew Gonwa Adrian Gonzalez
Jane Goodman James Goodridge and Joan Riley Yasmin Gosiengfiao
Michael Graff Kathleen and Michael Graham Andrew Graham
Beverly Graham Richard and Mary Gray Jason Green
Laura Green John Grennan Barbara Gressel and Gary Wigoda
Heinz Grob James Grusecki Barbara Guido
Mary Ellen Guy Beckett Haglund Taylor Haile
Kelly Hajduk Ellen Hake Rebekah Hamilton
Aaron Hammond Carol Hammond Gretchen Hane
Kris Hansen Gallagher Harder Virginia Harding
Meighan Harmon Martin Harper Jessica Harrison
Caroline Harwood Penny Harwood Diane Heller
Julia Heller Virginia Helm Dale Hendricks
Katherine and James Hepp Robert and Dorothy Hernquist Dana Herpe
Kiley Heth Sally Hewitt Si High
Matthew Hill Sara Hock Danielle and Jim Hoeg
Ann Hoenig Natalie Holden Brad Holland
Alice Hoos Susan Horn Donald Horvath
Lola Hotchkis Craig and Pam Howard Jack Howard
Phillip Hoylman Nancy Hriljac Erick Huck
Melissa Huff and Richard Alkire Nick Huggett John Hurley
Liane Hurston Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Sue Imrem
Dana Inouye Tim and Kathleen Isley Tamima Itani
Alexander Itkin Jill Jacobbi Thomas James
Charles Janda Patty Jenkins Jim Beam Brands, Co.
John & Carol Walter Family Foundation Jerry and Karen Johnson Adel Johnson
Eric Johnson Kathleen Johnson Margaret Johnston
Joyce Foundation Nancy Juda and Jens Brasch 0
Nancy and Mark Kalchbrenner Vikrant and Aon Kalra Ravindra and Hymavathy Kandula
Julie Kanter Barry Kaplan Caroline Karr
James Kastenholz and Jennifer Steans Marilyn Katz Kenneth and Barbara Kaufman
Lorraine and Steve Kaufman Michael and Rosalind Keiser Diane Kelliher
Lorraine Kells Rebecca Kerlin Louise Keshaviah
Thomas and Pascale Kichler Lauren Kincaid-Filbey Christopher King
Rosemarie King Sylvia and John Kinney Kay Kirkpatrick
Ray Klebba Gale and John Klein Kathryn Klein
Sanford Klein Nicholas Knuth Kathleen Koehl
Katie Kolberg Gary Kolesar Anna Kopsky
Judith Kossy Susan Kovic Alicia Kozikowski
Lauren Krause Hilit Kravitz Hilly Kravitz
Karen Kroc Shelby Kroeger Ronald and Anstiss Krueck
Joseph Kryza Nicole Kuebler Paul Kuhn
Justin Kulovsek Michael Kundert Mary Kupjack
Nami Kurita Elizabeth Kurman Glenn Laken
Virginia and Frederick Langrehr Cary Latimer and Julie E Lasin Jim Lauer
Judith Lauth Casey Janet Lawrence Matthew Lazar
Dahlia Leffell Long Le-Khac Sara Lenart
Neal Lenhoff and Matt Kunkel Scott Lennox James and Susanne Lenz
Thomas Lesh Marc and Angie Levenstein Heidi Levin
Michael Levin Zachary Levin Dr. and Mrs. Levine Levine
Kevin LI and Lori Sugarman Joanne Libfeld Samuel A. Lichtenfeld and Melanie H. Kahn
Jeffrey Liem and Hilit Kravitz Becki Lindley Brian Lindstrom
Michael Liska Kathleen Logan Sharon Lohm
Ryan Long Pedro Lopes Mabry Lulli
Margo Lyons Tracy M Marilyn M Geary
Kathleen Mackay Anthony Maggiore Maria Maldonado
Bill Maloney and Mary Selby Charles Mangum S. A. Mann
Joe and Rika Mansueto Scott Manzler Margot & Thomas Pritzker Family Foundation
Jenny Marks Samantha Marsh Todd and Martha Martin
Michael Martineau Heidi Massa Elise Masur
Wil Matthews Clark and Sari Maxfield Robert Mayfield
Nancy McAndrew Dennis McAvoy Woody McCally
Phil McCarthy Claudia McDermott Brigid McGrath
Maggie McGuire Erin McInerney Matt McKee
Matt & Ashley McKee Anne McKibbin Bill and Leoni McVey
Lori Meek Adi Mehta Colin Meier
Jerome Meites Gary Mellman Mark Melton
Anchit Menawat Claudia Mendelson Charles Mesh
Max and Katie Meyers Mark Micheli Shawn Michols
John Mikosz Donna and Ted Miller David and Joan Miller
Sandy and Jonathan Miller Andrea Miller Linda Miller
Melissa Miller Patricia Miller Mark Millington
Eunhee Milutinovic Joseph Minardi Lori and Michael Mitchell
Danish Mohammed Kaveh Moini Robert and Nancy Mollers
Nancy and Bob Mollers Laura Mongello John Montague and Patricia Aluisi
James Montana Andrew and Allie Moran Jennifer Morgenstern and Burgess C. Wilson
Linda Morning Megan Mullen Mike Mullen
Melinda and James Munson Bruce Murphy Madeleine Murphy
Marilyn and David Musell Charles and Nancy Nadler Rosemary Nadolsky
Marsha and Hassan Nagib Karen Naranjo Theodore Naron
Jack and Cheryl Neal Marianne Nesler Stacie Newmark
Dung Nguyen Kathryn Niedner Natasja Nielsen
John and Janis Notz Anthony Nuval Philomena O`Halloran
Kevin O`Keefe Mary O`Neil Colin O’Brien
Sharon O’Brien Nancy O’shea Martin and Bonnie Oberman
Allyn Obyrne Geraldine Oconnor Kevin Olson
Chris and Lauren O’Neill Amy Osborn
Nina Padgett Maria Pandolfo Susan and John Papadopulos
Bernadette Parfenoff Helene Paris Christopher Parsons
Susan S. Pastin John and Nancy Patek Yash Patel
Anurag Patel Patricia Pates Karl Peet
Jacques and Beverly Perret Kristin Petrovich Philip D. Block III Family Foundation
Nikki Piermarini Matthew Plachy Rob Plotke
Susan Polachek Stephen Porvin Drs. Jodi L. and Glenn M. Preminger
D. Elizabeth Price Jane Price Abby and Dave Prinn
Kate Proudfoot Barbara Provus Matt Pudnos
Matt and Mandy Pulley Baihu Qian Susan Quaintance
Lea Radick Steven Radtke and Dianne Goren Radtke Norman and Helene Raidl
Dorothy Ramm Julie Rand Giselle and Mark Ratain
Rob Rauch Lynn Raymond Aaron Reed
Brandon Reed Janet Reed Jim Reichardt
Char Reinhold Sharon Repka Michael Richman
Jeremy Riel and Jessica Hunter Hector Rios Carey Roberts
Elizabeth Roberts Andrew Robertson Leah Robinson
Neal Robinson Julie Rocap Desiree Rogers
Judith Rose Burt and Sheli Rosenberg Linda Rosenthal
Ilina Rosoklija Thomas Ross Ross Family Foundation
Anthony Rosso Eric and Lindsey Rothfeder Joseph Rubel
Eitan Rude Wayne and Mary Russell Diana and Ed Ruthman
Buzz and Tina Ruttenberg Louise Ryssmann Cynthia Sadkin
Leonid Sagalovsky Susan Salpeter Pat Samata
David and Nancy Sarne Janet Scanlon Kathy and Dave Schanding
Eileen Schatz Steven Schein Elizabeth Schenkier
Nancy Schlack Ronald and Joanne Schlacks Marge Schlesinger
Jessica and Joseph Schneider Glaser Michael Schneiderman Donald and Susan Schopfer
Keith Schuit Mary Schulatz Stuart Schulman
Marian Schulz Susan Schwartz Mary Ann Schwartz
Mindy Seidler Paul Selwold Severinghaus Family Charitable Fund
Meagan Shallcross Kerry Shannon Adam Shaw
Kate Sheehy Bonnie and Orrin Shifrin David Shiner
Karen Shmelev Roberta Siegel Dick Simpson
David Sincox Jill and Steve Smart Jane and Carl Smith
Andre Smith Karen Smith Kimberly Smith
Merrill Smith Pamela Smith Russel Smith
Jonathan Snyder Paul Sowadski David Sperling
Dariel Stack Shirley Staffan Ronald and Misang Stalzle
Charles Stanford Nola Stark Peter Stecy
Heather Stefek Elinor Stege Robert and Branka Steinbaugh
Michael and Salme Steinberg Paul Steinke Michael Stenson
Richard Stephan Reid Stephenson Denise Stewart and George Engeln
Helene Stoffey Frederick Stone Anaa and Lou Storino
Terrill L Stumpf Daniel Sullivan Eric Sullivan
Timothy Sullivan John and Jessica Supera Andrea Swank
John Swarens Margaret and Mike Sweeney Peter and Patricia Sweeney
Emily Sweeney Janet Swenson Kyle Syers
J. Scott Sykora Philip Szczepkowski Virginia and Bob Szymkowski
Karyn Taeyaerts Gerald Talsky Cheryl Tama Oblander and Scott Oblander
Haley Tanzman Simon Tanzman Michelle Taufmann
Nolan Tavas Dale Taylor and Angela Lustig Patricia Teplitz
Janice Terry Allison Thawley The Cairn Fund
The David Pattis Memorial Foundation Tom and Barbi Donnelley The Oppenheimer Family Foundation
The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation The Shapiro Grynsztejn Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation The Thomas and Deborah Werner Charitable Fund
Lisa Thomas Thomas M. Tunney Foundation Charles Thomason
Neil and Candace Thompson Candace Thompson Rachel Thompson
Amelia Thorne Robert Tomes and Cynthia Zeltwanger Hector Torrez
Mark and Rita Tresnowski Bradley Troast Ken Truitt
Tod Turle Elizabeth Turley Suzanne Turner
Christiana Tye Mark and Jim Tyle 0
Shauna Ubersox Brian Umbenhauer Mark Untiedt
Daniel Ussishkin Igor Uzilevskiy Kristina Valaitis
Peter Vale Andrew Van Ryzin John and Lyn Vaughn
Michael Vayner Peter Vazzano and Sandra G. Nelson Sarah Vetrano
Erin Vicelja Peter Vilkelis Erika Vogel
Chris Voltarel Karen Walaszek Edward Walchak
John Washburn Alicia Wasmiller Trudy Weber
Mariette Weinles Ashley Weiss Weiss-Read Charitable Fund
Michelle Welch Janice Wernette Sarah Whitmore
Lorna Widdes Mackenzie Wiglesworth Katherine Wilkes
Cleary Williams Joe Williams Richard Williams
Iris Witkowsky Ronald and Linda Wolf Joan Wolfensberger
Mary Woolever Dave Woosencraft Jennifer Worstell
Jared Wunsch Suzanne and Mike Wychocki Susan Wydra
Mary Kay and Stephen Wysham Karen Yamasaki Steve and Arna Yastrow
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