North Pond’s Restoration

Latest Project News

Check here regularly as up-to-date resources and information will be shared throughout the spring and summer.

  • Get the latest news on the North Pond Restoration in our weekly blog series.
  • View a “before/after” shoreline diagram to see how North Pond’s shoreline grading and planting will help ensure its health long-term.
  • The North Pond Restoration project is in the news. Click here for April 2022 press.
  • For additional North Pond artist’s renderings click here.

For additional videos of the North Pond Restoration and other Conservancy work, please visit us on YouTube.

Future look of North Pond Nature Sanctuary (Artist’s Rendering). For additional artist’s renderings, click here.

Artist’s rendition of the completed restoration at North Pond.

Aerial View of North Pond.

North Pond Restoration Project – Status Update

The Lincoln Park Conservancy began work on the North Pond Restoration Project in April.  Through December 2022, the following project components have been completed:

  • dredging of the Pond to increase depth and improve water quality,
  • grading and planting of the Pond bottom and banks to reduce erosion and runoff,
  • increasing the Pond’s watershed by adding drainage in the surrounding park to direct stormwater to the Pond,
  • automating the Pond’s municipal water source to reduce reliance on and use of city water,
  • ‘lining’ the Pond with a natural polymer flocculant to reduce water loss to groundwater,
  • adding new vantage points and vistas,
  • installing new fencing to protect natural areas and reduce soil compaction,
  • planting of submergent plants to stabilize the Pond bottom, and
  • seeding of the Pond’s shoreline with native plants that will add additional habitat around the Pond.


The last major component for the project’s first phase will be extensive planting of the Pond’s shoreline during the spring of 2023 with over 70 new trees, hundreds of native plant plugs, and thousands of additional native seeds.

Stay tuned for details on our public celebration of North Pond’s restoration on Earth Day 2023 (Saturday, April 22).  At this event we will launch our ongoing community stewardship campaign and kickoff our 2023 season of our North Pond Gardeners stewardship program to help keep North Pond healthy and vibrant for years to come!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make the project a reality!


North Pond Restoration Project Timeline

*Dates subject to change due to weather or site conditions.

What’s Happening & When

A General Guide of What to Expect:


  • April 2022: Mobilization; fencing installed.
  • May: Erosion control measures; removal of dead or compromised trees.
  • June-July : Dredging operation; storm-sewer and drainage.
  • August – mid-September: Bank restoration, pond grading & path improvements.
  • September-November: aerators installed; turf replacement.
  • December: Application of natural polymer flocculant liner to reduce water loss to groundwater
  • April 2023: North Pond Restoration Project celebration (April 22), launch of 2023 North Pond Gardeners volunteer stewardship program
  • April-June: Planting of native trees, plants, and shrubs along the Pond’s shoreline
  • June 2023: Project completion, Phase 1.

Short-term Human & Wildlife Impacts:

While restoration work is taking place at North Pond, there will be some short-term impacts on humans and wildlife. However, the Lincoln Park Conservancy is committed to ensuring minimal disturbance of the animal and human visitors:

  • Our staff and contractors walked the site this spring to identify and mark for protection key nesting areas.
  • Additionally, dredge workers will be able to clearly observe the materials being gathered up from the Pond bottom and to relocate any wildlife unintentionally disturbed.
  • Finally, portions of the Pond will remain wet even during the dredge to ensure habitat for aquatic life.

Diagram of work to be completed. Click here for expanded view.

What You Can Expect:

  • Path closures
  • Fencing
  • Tree removal
  • Nesting and migration — We will use an adaptive strategy to protect key nesting sites and habitat.
  • Aquatic species — Portions of the Pond will remain wet and contractors will observe exactly what they are gathering during the dredge process and relocate animals that may be disturbed.

Additional Project Resources

Learn More & Get Involved

Attend or Host a Meeting

Watch a recording of the public meeting with the Conservancy on Wednesday, April 20th at 6pm.

You may also schedule a one-on-one or small group presentation with Executive Director Doug Widener.

Join North Pond Gardeners

Volunteer North Pond Gardeners meet every other Saturday during the warm weather seasons. Click here to learn more and view dates.

Speak With a Champion

Volunteer North Pond Champions are in the Park during the warm weather seasons to answer questions and share news about the North Pond project. Look for individuals wearing a green apron! Email us if you’d like to train as a Champion.

Thank you to all our North Pond Campaign Donors!

Ellen AbneeLindsay AbneyAnne Abramson and Basil Chaltas
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We’ve reached our estimated project budget, but we still need your support!

Through the generosity of our donors, we’ve reached our $7.3M project budget to restore North Pond. Still, the need for financial support remains ongoing while the Conservancy moves through this construction year, as unanticipated costs may arise. Beyond the restoration, the Conservancy is committed to establishing an endowment to maintain the gains made by the North Pond Project. We appreciate your help!

For additional videos of the North Pond Restoration and other Conservancy work, please visit us on YouTube

By Doug Widener And then there were trees!  Or, more specifically, and then the trees were planted.  One big thing everyone has been waiting for is more nature to return to North Pond.  From the pictures we’ve posted and shared throughout the spring, it’s clear......

by Doug Widener Happy Earth Day! I know the actual Earth Day was last Saturday, but since every day is really Earth Day (and since April is Earth Month), the greeting still applies. Thank you to the over 125 hearty volunteers who braved the Chicago......

Dear Friends of North Pond. With the dawning of April, we’ve seen a significant amount of activity this week related to the completion of punch list items by our contractor, as noted in last week’s blog entry. In addition to this work, we are happy to......

Happy Spring!  The temperature outside today as I write this doesn’t fully say ‘spring’ but the weather over the past few weeks and the upcoming forecast assures me/us that spring is here.  With its arrival, we are excited to get back to work at North......

Join US FOR EARTH DAY 2023! The Lincoln Park Conservancy and our partners at the Chicago Park District and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum are planning a day of activities on Saturday, April 22nd to celebrate Earth Day. Activities will run throughout the day, so join......

by Doug Widener It’s gone! By it we mean the big metal box at the north end of North Pond that was installed last fall to cover mechanical equipment. After much anticipation and many requests, the box has been replaced by a more appropriate and esthetically......

by Doug Widener Happy New Year! Since there are two days left in 2023’s first month, we still have time to wish you a bright year ahead. As we ramp into to 2023, we’re excited to put the finishing touches on North Pond’s restoration later......

North Pond Restoration Update – December 2023 by Doug Widener While the weather turns cold this fall and winter, the North Pond Restoration Update has moved to a monthly format. While work has definitely slowed from its pace this spring and summer, the contractors are......

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