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Northerly Island Plan: 2005
Design Overview: 2005
Building Design: 2005
Design Sections: 2005
Sanctuary Point Plan: 2002
The city of Chicago has officially opened Northerly Island Park—the first time in more than 60 years the park has been open to the public. Chicago residents can now look forward to a natural sanctuary for people and wildlife just minutes away from the bustle of city life.
It was in 2001 that the Alliance first presented the Chicago Park District with a volunteer-driven plan to transform the 91-acre peninsula into a natural area. Three years later, in fall 2004, the
Alliance hosted the site's first educational program to introduce local residents to their new park and all its possibilities.
A leading citizen-based organization promoting habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes basin, the Alliance has teamed with a number of area residents, including boaters, anglers and educators, to ensure the park is developed with a unique vision that complements its lakefront setting. To that same end, the Alliance has organized a variety of conservation groups into the "Northerly Island Coalition," which consists of the Bird Conservation Network, Chicago Audubon Society, Chicago Ornithological Society, Friends of the Parks, Grant Park Advisory Council, Openlands Project and the Sierra Club-Illinois Chapter.
Most of Chicago's lakefront parks are designed for uses that are not unique to their location—the shoreline of the United States' largest lake—and offer little connection to the natural world.
The Alliance's recommendations for the park are based upon one of the most progressive and habitat-friendly visions for an urban lakefront: the 1909 Plan of Chicago. That vision called for the lakeshore to be "a haven—an urban sanctuary for people and nature." The Alliance's recommendations thus call for returning native coastal habitats to the Illinois' shoreline, such as wetland, prairie, dune, beach and underwater environments that support a beautiful variety of plants and animals.
With a design based on this vision for Northerly Island Park, Chicago can demonstrate Mayor Daley's commitment to establish itself as the greenest—and bluest—waterfront city in the world.
For more information on the Alliance's work on Northerly Island, contact Joel Brammeier, vice president for policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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