Prince Pond Improvement Project
Fri April 30, 2021
about the project
The park improvement project at Prince Pond was completed in June 2021. The scope of the project included dredging of the pond and reconstruction of the flagstone walkway along the east edge of the pond, which had settled and tilted over time. This work will consisted of stabilizing the shoreline with additional boulders, and re-setting the flagstone walkway to create a more level surface. A grand reopening celebration was held on July 29, 2021.
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 works 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. In 2020, it was determined that Prince Pond was in need of dredging to restore the pond’s original depth and improve its overall health.
During the dredging of the pond, the sediment was pushed into a pile near the existing concrete boat launch and loaded into dump trucks to be hauled away. In addition to the dredging and shoreline work, the Park District completed walkway improvements that 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 was replaced with new ramps with more gradual slopes and handrails for safer wheelchair access. The brick patio was reconstructed to create a level surface, and a safety railing was added along the pond edge of the patio.
- 4/13/2021 - The dredging work was completed in early February, and the pond is now being allowed to re-fill with water. The construction fencing surrounding the park will remain in place until the pond has returned to its normal water level. Typically, spring rain storms would deliver water into the pond through the storm sewer pipes along the east and west sides; however, the lack of rain throughout March and April has caused it to re-fill very slowly! Park District staff will continue to monitor the water level, and will ask the contractor to remove the fencing as soon as the water level rises.
- 2/5/2021 – The dredging is complete and the new boat ramp has been poured.
- 2/3/2021 – Fish cribs (wooden pallets) were added to the bottom of the pond to create habitat structures that will provide shade for the new fish coming this spring.
- 1/29/2021 – The dredging is now nearly complete, and the remaining sediment should be removed from the pond next week!
- 1/22/2021 – Having completed dredging on the north end of the pond, the contractors moved to the south end and are working their way back to the middle.
- 1/15/21 – Sediment from the pond is being loaded into trucks and removed from the site. The contractor is starting at the north end.
- 1/13/21 – The Contractor has delivered a load of sawdust that will be mixed into the sediment to help dry it before loading into trucks.
- 1/11/21 – Dredging of the pond sediment is now underway. Large wooden mats will be placed within the pond to support excavators.
- 12/23/20 - Shoreline work is now complete. The construction site will be closed for the holidays and work is anticipated to resume the week of January 4.
- 12/22/20 - Shoreline stabilization and flagstone pathway work nearly complete
- 12/18/20 – Shoreline work
- 12/16/20 – Contractor is preparing to begin work on the east shoreline renovation
- 12/14/20 – Contractor began re-setting the brick patio in front of the shelter; Sidewalk completed
- 12/10/20 – The new concrete ramp leading down to the shelter was framed and poured; Pond level
- 12/9/20 – Sidewalk work and water level work
- 12/8/20 – Contractor began removing the existing concrete walkway east of the brick patio
- 12/7/20 – Contractor began pumping water out of the pond in order to reveal the sediment
- 12/4/20 – Construction fencing was installed around the perimeter of the pond (playground will remain open)