Canal Shores planting day in Feb. 2018

Canal Shores Golf Course received the 2018 Silver Ribbon Award from the Friends of the Chicago River for its ecological restoration work that aids in the improvement of the Chicago River system. 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. It provides 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,” Mr. 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, storm water 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.”

“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 Mr. Neumann.

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 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 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.