Wild Mile Chicago – a mile-long, floating eco-park which will transform a section of the man-made, steel-walled Chicago River into a space which serves people, wildlife, and the environment – is set to open next year.
Upon completion in 2020, Wild Mile Chicago will contain floating gardens, forests, wetlands, public walkways, educational learning stations, kayak access points, and more.
Plans for the public space builds on the vision of a renewed urban ecology for the city of Chicago and helps to generate cleaner, healthier water and more vibrant wildlife ecosystems.
The floating park will be located on the North Branch Canal of the Chicago River, a manmade channel along the east side of Goose Island between Chicago Ave and North Ave.
The purpose of Wild Mile Chicago is to create a more natural, protected habitat for wildlife in and around the river; help educate the community in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math); and provide opportunities for water recreation activities like kayaking and fishing.
Wild Mile Chicago also aims to clean-up Chicago River through the process of phytoremediation, whereby water passes through the roots of the eco-park and the roots absorb the water along with the substances in the water.
A number of organisations are behind the Wild Mile Chicago project including the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development; non-profit organisation, Wild Rivers, famed for their trash cleaning robot, Trashbot; and private developers.
In what will be the world’s first mile-long floating park, Wild Mile Chicago will maintain and provide a natural environment for numerous species and pollinators which will benefit the overall biodiversity of the area.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com