Lake Calumet Open Space Reserve
Department of Planning and Development
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. was retained by the City of Chicago to prepare an open space acquisition, development, and management plan for the Lake Calumet area of Chicago. The area has unique features. A shallow lake and wetland area, it is the last example of many that once existed along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is home to the largest number of endangered and threatened species in Illinois and is on a major flyway for migratory birds. It is also home to the heaviest and dirtiest of industry, including steel making and processing, coke production, power generation, and solid waste disposal.
The landscape architect inventoried the existing open space and recreation areas; inventoried and analyzed potential open space and recreation areas; prepared an overall plan of existing and potential lands; prepared plans of sub-areas with site-specific proposals for environmental mitigation and improvements, wildlife and habitat improvements, and recreational improvements; and prepared an overall ownership and management plan.
The focus of the plan is to acquire and improve existing natural areas not already in public ownership, to link the various sites, and to create a critical mass of natural areas that functions essentially as a new state park and wildlife refuge in the heart of the most industrialized areas of one of the most industrialized cities in the country. In this respect the project is a model for other urban areas.