Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicago Riverwalk: Fish Hotel

Fish Hotel..
Chicago Riverwalk just east of the Dearborn Street bridge.
The Fish Hotel opened in 2005, at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue bridge [now DuSable bridge]. With the construction of Michigan Avenue underbridge, it was moved to the Dearborn Street Bridge, in 2008. It was started as a pilot project by Friends of Chicago River, a non-profit organization.

The hotel is a combination of floating and submerged islands anchored to the steel walls lining the river. Islands are planted with wetland vegetation that will provide shelter and attract insects and other food for a variety of fish species..
- Monifa Thomas, staff reporter of Chicago Sun Times..
Hotel hopes to lure fish back to downtown, click here..
Friends of Chicago River website, click here..

There are floating islands, submerged islands, submerged fish-cribs, floating water logs, poultry netting to prevent plant predation by water-fowl.. Click on the image below to see enlarged version of what lies beneath..

What lies beneath.. click to enlarge..

# Chicago Riverwalk, click here..
# Hotelhhopes to lure fish back to downtown, click here..
# Friends of Chicago River website, click here..

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lincoln Park Zoo [Nature Broadwalk: An Urban Oasis]

Nature Boardwalk around the South Pond, of Lincooln Park Zoo, was opened to the public on June 24, 2010. It's home to native fish, birds, dragonflies, turtles and more. The shoreline features wetland grasses and prairie vegetation.

Originally, the 14-acre South Pond was built in 1876 for recreational purposes. It was too shallow for wildlife to survive in winter months. Over the years, many non-native species of fish made pond their home. This was endangering the native species. In 2003, the Park District decided to turn the pond into an outdoor wilderness classroom. The Park District asked the nonprofit Lincoln Park Zoological Society to raise $12 million and the district pitched in $2.5 million. After a long renovation, the Nature Broadwalk opened in June, 2010. The formerly shallow pond is now 20-foot deep ensuring the survival of wildlife in winter season and is home to many native species of wildlife.
Check out the website..
Nature Broadwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo..

The Old South Pond Boardwalk [Image taken August, 2007]
Gone is the concrete and steel boardwalk around the Zoo's South Pond. It was too shallow to house wildlife. The old wooden paddleboat shaped like swans are gone too..

The New Nature Boardwalk [Image taken, June 7, 2011]
The South Pond is now 20-foot deep and house to many native species like Black Crowned Heron, Blanding Turtle, Painted Turtle, Bluegill, Large Mouth Bass and more..

Which heron is this?
The Nature Boardwalk website talks about increasing population of black-crowned night herons, click here..

As a part of the renovation, the Lester E. Fisher bridge has also been renovated. It provides a beautiful view of the cityscape, as seen in the image below.

A marker on the bridge reads..
A Green Oasis in the Heart of the City..
Skyscraper Towers in the background. Buses arrive bearing tourists from the Loop. The cars on the Lake Shore Drive zoom or sit [depending on the traffic]. And in the center of it all sits a beautiful green oasis with walkway, native plant and wildlife offering a refuge in the heart of the city.
Like the zoo itself, Nature Broadwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo is intimately linked to the great city that surrounds it. Both zoo and broadwalk provides a welcome break from business and bustle, giving visitors a chance to pause, relax and connect with wildlife.

Peoples Gas Education Pavilion..
A wooden structure on the east of the pond..

Thursday, June 2, 2011