Chris Carey, president of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association, and Steve Neumann, chair of the Grounds Committee, accepted the award at the Friends’ annual gala earlier this month.
The Golf Course, set on 82 acres along the North Shore Channel, is led by the all-volunteer non-profit Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association which developed the Ecological Restoration Master Plan to provide a framework for improvements to wetlands, wildlife habitats and plant and tree species along the river banks and identifies areas for enhancement and potential restoration.
“Canal Shores has taken a big step forward with the completion of a plan which will ensure a sustainable environment, foster habitat restoration and inform future land use and golf planning,” Carey said. “I thank the Friends for their confidence in us and recognize the dedicated neighbors and volunteers who worked diligently with guidance from the environmental consulting firm Planning Resources Inc. to develop a plan to protect and nurture the course into the next century. This award truly demonstrates the value of the community coming together for a good cause.”
“Friends is thrilled to recognize the award winners for their investments in habitat, public open space, stormwater management and engagement with the Chicago River system,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River. “There is terrific opportunity to develop the river for people while continuing to invest in its ecological health. The award winners demonstrate how.”
The Chicago River Blue awards recognize the work of developers, architects, municipalities, planners and others for their creative and river-sensitive approaches to projects within the Chicago River watershed. Other recipients this year include Studio Gang for the Eleanor Street Boathouse; Argyle Shared Streets; River Point; the Eugene Field Park Riffle; and the Rockwell Taproom and Brewery.
“We are in good company with some amazing projects that have been recognized for their efforts to make the Chicago River a prime recreational waterway benefitting numerous communities throughout the area. Canal Shores is committed to implementing much-needed improvements that will benefit future generations of our community mindful of our responsibility to this unique space,” said Steve Neumann, Grounds Committee chair.
The plan, developed over the last three years by a subcommittee of the Association, was funded with a Coastal Management Planning Grant administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management.
Canal Shores is embarking on an ambitious effort to redevelop and improve the golf experience and will implement elements of the ecological plan to incorporate multi-use recreational opportunities and facilities with a focus on ecological and habitat renovation and restoration. This is an important milestone for Canal Shores, the first comprehensive effort to adopt a long-term plan for the course in its’ 100-year history of golf along the channel. Working with the community, Canal Shores will strive to undertake a process that will improve the course and preserve the natural beauty and habitat of the land that runs along the banks of the North Shore Channel – a prime nesting area for migratory birds, and a dedicated recreational open space in the community.
About Canal Shores Golf Course and the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association – The Golf Course Association, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, was formed in 1919 to manage the operations of the 18-hole Canal Shores Golf Course. The course runs along the North Shore Channel from Green Bay Road in Evanston to the Baha’i Temple near Wilmette Harbor. The land that comprises Canal Shores is sub-leased by the Association from the City of Evanston and Village of Wilmette, which lease property from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. It offers programs that celebrate the game of golf, with a focus on special efforts designed for families, youth and the community. Canal Shores is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and is a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The Association is embarking on a multi-year strategic planning effort to improve and renovate the golf course to ensure economic and environmental sustainability; provide for a better and more challenging golf experience; and serve to connect families and the community to the outdoors with multi-recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.CanalShores.org.
About Friends of the Chicago River – Friends of the Chicago River is the only organization solely dedicated to the Chicago River. Since 1979, Friends has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people, plants and animals; and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, and easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region. Friends’ work spans the entire 156-mile Chicago River system and its surrounding watershed. We focus on a greener river with healthy habitat, an accessible river that people can use and enjoy, and a river cared for by a broad group of supporters. Friends works in partnership with municipalities, businesses, community groups, schools, peer organizations, government agencies and individuals on projects that benefit the river. Learn more about the Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago River Blue Awards at the website, https://www.chicagoriver.org/.