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:


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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



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.


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 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 H. and Paul F. 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 William Bader Anne Stiles Bagan
Jan Bail Daphne Baille Linda and John 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
Jennifer Bernstein Bo Beslach Ayon Bhattacharya
Amy Bickers Hilary Bingle Brad Black
Lauren Blackburn Blanchard Family Fund Jerry Blanchard
Tiffany Blanchette Suzanne Blaydes Jessica Bogart
Michele Boglio Sandra F Boles Constance Bonbrest
Heather Bond Leslie Borns 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
Carey and Cynthia Brunelli 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 Chirinko and Barb G. Cohen Sierra Chmela Katie Cibulsky
Barbara Cleveland Clara Coen 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 Jeanne Couchman Katherine Craig
Valerie Craig Bill Creed Peggy and Ken Crismore
Kelley Crismore John Crowley Samantha Dahlstrom
Moshe Naor Danieli Deborah Darr Muhammad Darwish
 David Shiner Cathy Davis Janet Dawson
Ryan Dawson Patricia Dearing Dane Deasy
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 Sarah Ducoin Kristin Dulcan and Ray Camp
John Dunagan Amy Duncker Lorrie DuPont and Nick Lynn
Gerson Ecker Joann Eisenberg Margee Elias
Stephen Elpern Ashley Elskus Geoffery Engel
Margaret Enger Robert Ennis Viktoria Erhardt
Cameron Estes Everest Family Foundation
Elisha Faber Angela Fayad Doug Feinstein
Megan Fellman Thomas Ferrell Matthew Fischel
Dawn Fisher Sheila Fleming Marcia Flick
Sarah and Fred Flosi Barbara Fosco and David N. Missner Ben Foster
Paul Francuch Michael Frankenstein Jennifer Frantom
Janet Franz Monica Freeland Barbara Friedman
Alexander Front Carla Funk Claire Gadbois
Wendy Gallagher Ruth Ganchiff Maria Garcia
Lauren Gardner 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 John Grennan Heinz Grob
James Grusecki Beckett Haglund Taylor Haile
Kelly Hajduk Rebekah Hamilton Aaron Hammond
Carol Hammond Debra Hammond Gretchen Hane
Kris Hansen Gallagher Karen Harder Virginia Harding
Jessica Harrison Caroline Harwood Penny Harwood
Diane Heller Julia Heller Katherine and James Hepp
Robert and Dorothy Hernquist Dana Herpe Kiley Heth
Sally Hewitt Si High Matthew Hill
Sara Hock Ann Hoenig Natalie Holden
Brad Holland Alice Hoos Susan Horn
Donald Horvath Lola Hotchkis Craig and Pamela 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 Isley
Tamima Itani Alexander Itkin Jill Jacobbi
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
Nancy and Mark Kalchbrenner Vikrant and Aon Kalra Ravindra and Hymavathy Kandula
Julie Kanter Caroline Karr James Kastenholz and Jennifer Steans
Marilyn Katz Kenneth and Barbara Kaufman Lorraine and Steve Kaufman
Michael and Rosalind Keiser Lorraine Kells Rebecca Kerlin
Louise Keshaviah Thomas and Pascale Kichler Lauren Kincaid-Filbey
Christopher King Sylvia and John F. Kinney Kay Kirkpatrick
Raymond Klebba Gale and John Klein Kathryn Klein
Sanford Klein Nicholas Knuth Kathleen Koehl
Katie Kolberg Gary Kolesar Anna Kopsky
Judith Kossy Alicia Kozikowski Lauren Krause
Hilit Kravitz Karen Kroc Shelby Kroeger
Ronald and Anstiss Krueck Nicole Kuebler Paul Kuhn
Justin Kulovsek Michael Kundert Mary Kupjack
Nami Kurita Elizabeth Kurman Glenn Laken
Virginia and Frederick W. 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 Angie and Marc Levenstein Heidi Levin
Michael Levin Paul and Susan Levine Kevin Li and Lori Sugarman
Joanne Libfeld Samuel A. Lichtenfeld and Melanie H. Kahn Jeffrey Liem and Hilit Kravitz
Becki Lindley Michael Liska Kathleen Logan
Sharon Lohm Ryan Long Pedro Lopes
Mabry Lulli Margo Lyons Kathleen Mackay
Anthony Maggiore Maria Maldonado Bill Maloney and Mary Selby
Charles Mangum S. A. Mann Joseph and Rika Mansueto
Margot & Thomas Pritzker Family Foundation Jenny Marks Samantha Marsh
Todd and Martha Martin Michael Martineau 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
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
Ted and Donna 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 Laura Mongello
John Montague and Patricia Aluisi James Montana Andrew and Allie Moran
Jennifer Morgenstern and Burgess C. Wilson Linda Morning Mike Mullen
Melinda and James Munson Robert Murphy Madeleine Murphy
Marilyn and David Musell Charles and Nancy Nadler Rosemary Nadolsky
The Nagib Family 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, Lyons and Hynes O`Keefe Mary O`Neil 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
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
Abigail and Dave Prinn Kate Proudfoot Barbara Provus
Matt Pudnos Pulley Freeman Fund 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
Julie Rocap Desiree Rogers Judith Rose
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 David and Tina Ruttenberg Louise Ryssmann
Cynthia Sadkin Susan Salpeter Pat Samata
Janet Scanlon Kathy and Dave Schanding Eileen Schatz
Steven Schein Nancy Schlack Ronald and Joanne Schlacks
Barbara Schleppenbach Marge Schlesinger Schneider Glaser
Michael Schneiderman Donald and Susan Schopfer Keith Schuit
Mary Schulatz Stuart Schulman Marian Schulz
Hirsch-Schwartz Foundation Mary Ann Schwartz Mindy Seidler
Paul Selwold Severinghaus Family Charitable Fund Meagan Shallcross
Kerry Shannon Adam Shaw Kate Sheehy
Bonnie and Orrin Shifrin Karen Shmelev Roberta Siegel
Dick Simpson David Sincox Jill and Steve Smart
Carl and Jane 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
Louis Storino Terrill L Stumpf Daniel Sullivan
Eric Sullivan Timothy Sullivan John and Jessica Supera
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
Gerald Talsky Cheryl Tama Oblander Haley Tanzman
Simon Tanzman Michelle Taufmann Nolan Tavas
Dale Taylor Patricia Teplitz Allison Thawley
The Cairn Fund The David Pattis Memorial Foundation The Donnelley Foundation
 The Oppenheimer Family Foundation The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation The Shapiro Grynsztejn Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation
Lisa Thomas 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
Mark Untiedt Daniel Ussishkin 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
Karen Walaszek Edward Walchak John Washburn
Alicia Wasmiller Trudy Weber Ashley Weiss
Weiss-Read Charitable Fund Michelle Welch Janice Wernette
Sarah Whitmore Lorna Widdes Mackenzie Wiglesworth
Cleary Williams Joe Williams Richard Williams
Iris Witkowsky Ronald and Linda S. 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
Justin Yee Sloane York Janice Young
Susan Zabriskie Judy and Lawrence Zager Mark Zampardo
Zell Family Foundation Nicholas Zeppos Andrew Zimmerman
Neale Zingle Matt Zwicky

Recent Posts

  Help us close the final gap to reach our $7.3 million goal to restore North Pond. The Lincoln Park Conservancy is within $100,000 of reaching our $7.3 million goal to restore North Pond.  We wouldn’t be where we are without the extreme generosity of......

By Jackie DeThorne Recently, I was asked two questions about volunteering and donating. “Why do you volunteer/donate and why do you support the Lincoln Park Conservancy specifically?” My initial thoughts were it’s good for the city and it’s good for me, but then I thought on…......

By:  Lorraine Kells     Over many years learning to identify leaves, flowers, scents, and habits of growing things and how to care for them while growing up myself, it was inevitable that I would create my own gardens wherever I live. A clear concept......

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