By EMMA HERMAN
The restoration of Jackson Park continues steadily, with the first phase of restoration complete and the second in progress. Managed by a partnership between the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the ecological restoration aims to revitalize the park’s various habitats and populations of native species.
The first phase, which involved the removal of dead and downed trees, the draining and clearing of the lagoon and the removal of invasive species, is complete. The second phase, the replenishment of native species, continues. According to a March project update published by the Army Corps of Engineers, the five-year project will ultimately include the planting of more than 400,000 types of trees, shrubs and grasses; the grading and stabilization of approximately eight acres of lagoon shorelines and the reintroduction of native fish communities; the paving of pathways and overlooks throughout the park and the removal and management of invasive and non-native plants.
Fences blocking Wooded Isle and Osaka Garden went up in April and the areas are still closed. They will continue to be closed until fall, in order to give newly planted seeds a chance to grow and establish root systems undisturbed. A burn to clear out any trace of invasive species is also scheduled for the fall.