Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Work Has Begun on the Uptown Coastal Natural Area

The chain link fencing has gone up to facilitate the development of the new Uptown Coastal Natural Area, the six-acre project located between Marine Drive and DuSable Lake Shore Drive, stretching from Wilson to Lawrence.

Inspired by ICA-Greenrise's 2017-2018 lecture/participation series, "Out and About Uptown’s Coast," the new nature area is supported by grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The fences will remain in place through the beginning of 2023 while work goes on. The Chicago Park District says the project 
"replaces the existing turf lawn with native prairie and savanna plantings, begins with the removal of invasive plant species in Fall 2022, and continues with the installation of native shrubs and seed installation, and the development of interpretive signage. 

Mowing maintenance and additional planting of native plants will continue through Fall 2023. Existing trees and shrubs will not be removed as part of this project."
In his recent newsletter, Ald. Cappleman says:
"While the upcoming native planting project is a big ecological preservation benefit for our community, we also recognize that some of our residents currently reside in tents within the natural area and are impacted by relocation prior to construction beginning. 

The Chicago Park District and Department of Family and Support Services are actively coordinating and working with social services to assist these individuals with housing, shelter and other supports. In addition to these services, residents are also being offered alternative solutions funded through our $100,000 micro-grant program focused on addressing chronic homelessness. 

Our office will continue to work with various City departments and sister agencies to ensure that the City of Chicago is using evidence-based best practices to address chronic homelessness. To learn more about addressing chronic homelessness in the 46th Ward and greater City of Chicago, read our newsletter. This will also be Alderman Cappleman's priority for the upcoming 2023 City budget."
The replanting will take approximately a year, and will be sustained and supplemented after that. You can read more about the project at Park Department sites HERE and HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Just walked by this today and it was wonderful to see the fences up and the tents not present. Unfortunately, the encampment has moved beyond the perimeter of the fencing and remains a major eyesore. The entire grassy area from Marine Drive on Montrose up through Lawrence needs to be fenced off. All of it.

    One can be supportive of the poor while also being against the dangerous tent cities that ruin of community. The homeless are not entitled to setting up housing on public use land. It's long since time to move them out of the Lakefront.