Downers Grove, IL
Prince Pond, previously known as Grove Lake, was first constructed in 1892 as part of the E. H. Prince subdivision that surrounds it. In 1894, a season ticket for ice skating at the Grove Lake Skating Pond could be purchased for $1 for children 10 years and younger. By 1932, the pond had built up sediment to a point where it was becoming a swamp. Because of this, it was excavated and reshaped into its current form, and the shelter at the north end was constructed. In 1936, the same year as these renovations, Mr. Prince donated the pond and shelter to the Village of Downers Grove. It was later bought by the Park District in 1948, two years after the District's inception. Because the pond was losing several feet of shoreline every year due to its freezing and thawing, the Park District later dredged the bottom again and added large boulders and stones around its perimeter in order to reduce erosion. In addition, play equipment, lighting, and walkways were also added as part of a renovation in the 1980's.
Prince Pond is situated immediately south of Franklin Street between Linscott Avenue and Parkway Drive. The park is dominated by the picturesque charm of the small Prince Pond surrounded by mature trees and native landscaping. The area immediately north of the pond has a playground, a shelter, benches and picnic tables. In winter, the pond becomes a popular location for ice skating, and is used by neighborhood kids for informal hockey games.
Dawn to Dusk except evenings when permitted lighted activity (operational, artificial lighting) is occurring. The park will close immediately after lights are turned off until dawn the following day. No person shall remain in park system unless a permit is granted in advance. Security lighting shall not be considered operational, artificial lighting.
- Drinking Fountain
- Ice Skating
- Park Bench
- Picnic Shelter
- Wildlife Observation
- 2.2 Acres
The park improvement project at Prince Pond has begun and is anticipated to take approximately 12 weeks ending in late February or early March. During this time, the park will be closed and the pond will be drained. The scope of the project includes dredging of the pond and reconstruction of the flagstone walkway along the east edge of the pond, which has settled and tilted over time. This work will consist of stabilizing the shoreline with additional boulders, and re-setting the flagstone walkway to create a more level surface. Ice skating will not be available at Prince Pond this winter.
From time to time, as part of routine pond maintenance, small bodies of water like Prince Pond must be dredged to remove sediment that accumulates on the pond bottom. The Park District has worked closely with the Village of Downers Grove to manage Prince Pond’s use as a recreational amenity, as well as a Village stormwater detention facility. At this time, it has been established that Prince Pond is in need of dredging to restore the pond’s original depth and improve its overall health.
During the dredging of the pond, the sediment will be pushed into a pile near the existing concrete boat launch and loaded into dump trucks to be hauled away. Since these trucks will need to pull up close to the pond, the project will require half of Parkway Drive to be closed. The east half of Parkway Drive will remain open for one-way traffic (from south to north), in order to ensure access to all residential driveways throughout the project.
In addition to the dredging and shoreline work, the Park District is planning walkway improvements that will provide better wheelchair access to the brick patio at the north end of the pond. The sidewalk that leads from East Parkway Drive down to the patio will be replaced with new ramps with more gradual slopes and handrails for safer wheelchair access. The brick patio will also be reconstructed to create a level surface, and a safety railing will be added along the pond edge of the patio.
We are excited to be moving ahead with these much-needed improvements, and look forward to restoring Prince Pond to its original condition. If you have any questions regarding this project, please feel free to contact Paul Fyle, Superintendent of Planning at 630-960-5451 or by email at email@example.com.