Help Save North Pond

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 $1 million 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”; attend a virtual 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 halfway 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 and/or start your own crowdfunding page here.
  • Volunteer: Help us take care of North Pond! We rely on dedicated volunteers and corporate groups to maintain the Pond’s ecosystems. 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 $7.1 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

Complete several studies to finish the master plan, including topographic and boundary study, tree inventory, and detailed pond bottom and sediment analysis. These summer 2020 studies added important data to already completed studies, including soil analysis, water quality testing, water balance/hydrology analysis, and depth and sediment studies. We will host several public meetings in November 2020 to collect and build on community input provided at earlier meetings, which will be integrated into the final restoration master plan. The plan is expected to be completed in Fall/Winter 2020/2021. Come back to this page often to see compiled results of the first phase.

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 Y Mayra Acevedo
Marco Acevedo Cindy and Narendra Acharya Katherine Agle
Friedrich and Penny Ahadi Olga Alario Joyce Foundation
Anneli Alers Elizabeth Alexander Nicole Allegretti
Danny Altkorn James and Sheila Amend American Endowment Foundation
Judith Anderson Mary and Paul Anderson Anglers’ Club of Chicago
Dana Angotti-Novick and John Novick, Jr. Nick Apostal Kristen Appelson
Kate Arias Erin Arnold Sanibh Aryan
Marlena Ascher Anne Stiles Bagan Janice Bail
Daphne Baille John and Linda Baker Stuart Baker
Andy Bakker 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
Jennifer Bernstein Bo Beslach Ayon Bhattacharya
Amy Bickers Hilary Bingle Brad Black
Lauren Blackburn Eric and Anne Blanchard Jerry Blanchard
Tiffany Blanchette Suzanne Blaydes Michele Boglio
Sandra Boles Constance Bonbrest Heather Bond
Peggy Boyer Long Karen Brach Al Braun
Nancy Breseke Laurel Breuer Julia Briggs
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 Chirinko and Barb Cohen Sierra Chmela
Katie Cibulsky Clara Coen Marcia Coffman
Midge Cogan Aiden Cohan Andrea Cohen
Nicholas Collman Stephanie Combs Michelle M. Comella
Lori Cook Veronica Cook Veronica Cook
Eric and Judith Cooper Marsha Cooper Caroline Corboy
Kaitlin Cordes Ann Corkery Jeanne Couchman
Katherine Craig Valerie Craig Kelley Crismore
Peg and Ken Crismore John Crowley Samantha Dahlstrom
Moshe Naor Danieli Muhammad Darwish David David Shiner
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
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
Sarah Ducoin Kristin Dulcan and Ray Camp The Dunagan Foundation, Inc.
Amy Duncker Lorrie DuPont and Nick Lynn Gerson Ecker
Joann Eisenberg Margee Elias Stephen Elpern
Geoffery Engel Margaret Enger Robert Ennis
Viktoria Erhardt Gayle and Chip Everest
Elisha Faber Angela Fayad Doug Feinstein
Megan Fellman Thomas Ferrell Matthew Fischel
Dawn Fisher Marcia Flick Sarah and Fred Flosi
Barbara Fosco and David Missner Ben Foster Paul Francuch
Michael Frankenstein Jennifer Frantom Janet Franz
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 Jessica and Joseph Glaser
Chris and Alyssa Glimco Chris Goldrick Nathaniel Gonner
Matthew Gonwa Adrian Gonzalez Jane Goodman
James Goodridge and Joan Riley Yasmin Gosiengfiao Michael Graff
Andrew Graham Beverly Graham Kathleen and Michael Graham
Richard and Mary Gray Jason Green Salesforce
Heinz Grob James Grusecki Beckett Haglund
Taylor Haile Kelly Hajduk Rebekah Hamilton
Aaron Hammond Carol Hammond Debra Hammond
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 – Honigman 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 Tamima Itani
Alexander Itkin Jill Jacobbi Jim Beam Brands, Co.
John & Carol Walter Family Foundation Eric Johnson Jerry and Karen 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 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 Alicia Kozikowski Lauren Krause
Hilit Kravitz Karen Kroc Shelby Kroeger
Ronald and Anstiss Krueck Paul Kuhn Justin Kulovsek
Michael Kundert Mary Kupjack Nami Kurita
Elizabeth Kurman Glenn Laken Virginia and Frederick Langrehr
Cary Latimer and Julie 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
Paul and Susan Levine Kevin Li and Lori Sugarman Joanne Libfeld
Samuel A. Lichtenfeld and Melanie 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 Charles Mangum S. A. Mann
Mansueto Foundation Margot & Thomas Pritzker Family Foundation Jenny Marks
Todd and Martha Martin Michael Martineau Elise Masur
Wil Matthews Clark and Sari Maxfield Robert Mayfield
Nancy McAndrew Dennis McAvoy Albert McCally
Woody McCally Phil McCarthy Claudia McDermott
Erin McInerney Matt McKee Anne McKibbin
Bill and Leoni McVey Lori Meek Adi Mehta
Colin Meier Jerome Meites Gary Mellman
Claudia Mendelson Charles Mesh Max and Katie Meyers
Mark Micheli Shawn Michols John Mikosz
Andrea Miller David and Joan Miller Melissa Miller
Donna and Ted 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 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 John and Janis Notz
Anthony Nuval Philomena O`Halloran Mary O`Neil
Sharon O’Brien Martin and Bonnie Oberman Allyn Obyrne
Kevin Olson Chris and Lauren O’Neill
Nina Padgett Susan and John Papadopulos Christopher Parsons
Susan S. Pastin John and Nancy Patek Yash Patel
Anurag Patel Karl Peet Jacques and Beverly Perret
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
Lea Radick Steven and Dianne Radtke Norman and Helene Raidl
Dorothy Ramm Julie Rand Giselle and Mark Ratain
Rob Rauch Lynn Raymond Aaron Reed
Brandon Reed Jim Reichardt Char Reinhold
Sharon Repka Michael Richman Jeremy Riel and Jessica Hunter
Hector Rios Elizabeth Roberts Andrew Robertson
Julie Rocap Desiree Rogers Linda Rosenthal
Ilina Rosoklija Thomas Ross Ross Family Foundation
Eric and Lindsey Rothfeder Joseph Rubel Eitan Rude
Wayne and Mary Russell Diana and Ed Ruthman Buzz Ruttenberg
Susan Salpeter Pat Samata Janet Scanlon
Steven Schein Nancy Schlack Ronald and Joanne Schlacks
Barbara Schleppenbach Marjorie Schlesinger Michael Schneiderman
Donald and Susan Schopfer Mary Schulatz Stuart Schulman
Marian Schulz Hirsch-Schwartz Foundation Mary Ann Schwartz
Mindy Seidler Paul Selwold Severinghauce Family Charitable Fund
Meagan Shallcross Kerry Shannon Adam Shaw
Kate Sheehy Bonnie and Orrin Shifrin Karen Shmelev
Dick Simpson Jill and Steve Smart Andre Smith
Jane and Carl Smith Karen Smith Kimberly Smith
Merrill Smith Pamela Smith Russel Smith
Jonathan Snyder Paul Sowadski 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 Daniel Sullivan
Eric Sullivan Timothy Sullivan John and Jessica Supera
Emily Sweeney Margaret and Mike Sweeney Peter and Patricia Sweeney
Janet Swenson Kyle Syers J. Scott Sykora
Philip Szczepkowski Virginia and Bob Szymkowski Gerald Talsky
Cheryl Tama Oblander and Scott Oblander Haley Tanzman Simon Tanzman
Michelle Taufmann Nolan Tavas Dale Taylor and Angela Lustig
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 Charles Thomason
Neil and 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 Christiana Tye Mark and Jim Tyle
Shauna Ubersox Mark Untiedt Daniel Ussishkin
Peter Vale Andrew Van Ryzin John and Lyn Vaughn
Michael Vayner Peter Vazzano and Sandra 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 Mark Wight and Eszter Borvendeg
Mackenzie Wiglesworth Cleary Williams Joe Williams
Richard Williams Iris Witkowsky Ronald and Linda Wolf
Mary Woolever Dave Woosencraft Jennifer Worstell
Jared Wunsch Suzanne and Mike Wychocki Susan Wydra
Mary Kay and Stephen Wysham Karen Yamasaki 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

The North Pond restoration project is rounding its final corner to be ready to begin work this fall. Recently the Conservancy met with the Chicago Park District to share 95% design plans and receive final comments and questions from various CPD departments. With that process......

Late Spring is here and we’re excited to once again offer in-person programming at North Pond, the Conservatory, and the Lily Pool! In May, we resumed docent-led Wildflower Walks at North Pond and the Lily Pool. Guests took an in-depth tour of the sites’ spring......

by Carissa Hudson Spring is upon us and so begins the symphony of flowers. The earliest flowers to bloom are the spring ephemerals.   Spring ephemerals are perennial plants that grow in late winter and early spring before there are leaves on the trees. During this period,......

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