Rathje Park Improvements
The park district recently completed plans to repair the shoreline and improve the quality of the pond at Rathje Park. This park is a popular location for fishing in the summer and ice skating in the winter. The project also included replacement of the parking lot with permeable pavers and a rain garden near the preschool building to collect storm water run-off.
While these improvements will benefit water quality, we will continue to treat for invasive plants and algae growth that has occurred at this pond and others throughout the district. This problem is often more prevalent in the spring due to stratification. More information is available from the State of Illinois’ EPA website: Lake Stratification and Mixing (PDF).
Elliot Lake Restoration
Located along Gary Avenue just south of Cosley Zoo and the park district administrative offices, Elliot Lake is an important part of stormwater in the area as well as a popular fishing location. Over the years, the shoreline has eroded and was in need of restoration. This work began in fall 2014 with improvements to the berm that separates the lake from the Winfield Creek. The project was completed in 2015 with native buffer planting along the shoreline. Maintenance of the shoreline will continue until it is fully established in approximately three years.
Lincoln Marsh Natural Area Benefits Area Water Quality & Flood Control
Highly regarded for its recreational and educational opportunities for people of all ages, Lincoln Marsh offers 150 acres of respite from the hustle and bustle of traffic and commerce. The natural integrity of the area is impressive, despite its urban setting. Prairies, woodlands, and savannas surround open water marsh areas that dot the landscape.
Ecological Habitat Preservation & Stormwater Management provided by Lincoln Marsh:
- Acts as a natural stormwater retention facility during heavy rains and floods
- Stores 650 acre feet of storm water. This translates to 211,803,430 gallons!!!†
- Essentially saves $10 million that would be required to construct a stormwater retention facility
- Improves surface and groundwater quality for surrounding communities
- Wetland plants, soil, and hydrology cleanse silt and chemical pollutants from the water
†According to a study conducted by Hey and Associates in 1992.
Central Athletic Complex
Central Athletic Complex receives 13 acres of stormwater storage.
In 2009 the Park District completed 5,000 linear feet of shoreline restoration at Northside Park. The park was further enhanced by a 40,000 cubic yard dredging project, a vegetated detention basin and nearly 180,000 square feet of permeable pavement.