North Pond Restoration Update: September 1, 2022

North Pond Restoration Update: September 1, 2022

by Doug Widener

Welcome to September! Let’s start this week’s blog with the shiny silver elephant in the room (more accurately, at the Pond):  rest assured, it’s going away. I am sure those who have seen it are cheering this news as am I. Throughout North Pond’s restoration, the project team along with our contractors Earthwerks, have applied an adaptive approach to the restoration to minimize impacts on wildlife and humans alike. Sometimes this involves rethinking things mid-stream or even once something is installed. In the case of the large silver box at the north end—a cover for the new water pumping system that is blocking one of the best views of the Pond and shoreline–it’s back to the drawing board. Soon you will see this box gone, replaced by a smaller, less obstructive, and more to-scale choice to cover this equipment. Stay tuned. For now, let’s all rest in the comfort of knowing that the current cover won’t remain.

 

 

While things are slowing down around the Pond for the upcoming Labor Day holiday, it is exciting to see crews installing plant plugs throughout the pond’s submergent and emergent zones. In case you’re wondering, temporary fencing is being installed today around these to keep geese away while plants get established. Fans of the lawn north of the pond will be excited to see the large fencing coming down today. Don’t celebrate just yet; a smaller construction fence will replace for the next few weeks until grass seed gets further established. While we are excited to reopen this part of the park soon, we ask folks to respect the construction fence closing off this area until later this month.

 

 

With work slower right now, I want to end this week’s blog by highlighting the many sustainable elements of the North Pond restoration including:

  • Reuse of all dredged material at the pond itself to grade adjacent parkland and to help fill and expand Big Marsh Park, one of Chicago’s newest parks
  • Installation of park underdrains to direct stormwater from the park to the pond as an additional source of makeup water
  • Addition of a new controlled water outlet to better manage municipal water used as potential recharge (when needed)
  • Lining of the pond with an ecopolymer liner to reduce the amount of water the pond loses to groundwater and reduce use of municipal water as makeup
  • Repurposing of removed trees as aquatic snags and for nature play installations throughout Chicago including at Leone Beach Park

Stay tuned for more updates next week. To learn more about the North Pond Restoration Project, visit our project page. Stay up-to-date on current work via our weekly blog series.

 

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!

 

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