Chicago non-profit announces plan to restore urban nature sanctuary

Chicago, Illinois can proudly boast of its green space, specifically the city’s historic parks.

More than a few of them date from the late 19th century. And like any other feature of a great metropolis, parks need not only maintenance but, on occasion, a thorough renovation.

That’s the case with one relatively small area in Lincoln Park. It’s been a major attraction for more than a century and that’s taken a big toll on its ecosystem.

Now, an effort is underway to restore the North Pond Nature Sanctuary. It was created from 1881 to 1884 at the request of the citizens who lived in the area at the time.

Due to the large amount of foot traffic, there’s a great deal of erosion at the shoreline, as well as exposed tree roots. The soil is so compacted and so free of nutrients that nothing will grow in it anymore.

It’s never been dredged, 130 years’ worth of sediment is choking it, making it only 4 feet deep at its deepest.

Experts say for the health of all the wildlife around here, it should be 12 feet deep. Whatever fish may remain in the pond struggle for adequate oxygen, which currently has to be pumped in.

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