A coalition of environmental and community leaders from Chicago’s south side have released a new vision for the Lake Calumet shoreline. Lake Calumet is known to the region’s environmental community as home to a number of endangered and threatened species. While the site has a long industrial history, continued decreases in these types of uses have contributed to Lake Calumet’s ability to support a diverse array of wildlife.
Both the Illinois DNR and the City of Chicago Department of Environment are working diligently to restore marsh areas adjacent to the lake. Unfortunately, public access to the lake is still available only by boat via the Calumet River. The entire perimeter of the site is fenced off, making it difficult to change the perception that this is “only” an industrial area. With pressures to develop portions of the shoreline looming, the south Chicago coalition is hoping this new plan will give the city and state a starting point for the preservation of open space surrounding Lake Calumet.