Calumet District Plans Synthesis

Chicago has many citywide and local place-based plans with stated goals for the built environment. Some are municipal; others are nonprofit driven. They prioritize public and private capital investments, provide important context for those investments and help determine how a community should grow and where development should occur.

Planning Context: From Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago to the 2014 Millennium Reserve report released by Governor Quinn’s office, this region has been heralded for its unusual and unlikely pairing of nature and industry. The foundation for today’s planning efforts on and near Lake Calumet began with the 1999 plan, Calumet Area Implementation/Action Plan, and continued with the Calumet Area Land Use Plan in 2001, followed shortly by the Open Space Reserve Plan in 2002.These plans strive to seamlessly weave together seemingly contrary uses: nature, wildlife and recreation and industry. Property has been acquired for the Open Space Reserve, including Deadstick Pond, Heron Pond, Van Vlissingen Prairie, Indian Ridge, O’Brien Lock Marsh, Whitford Pond and Hegewisch Marsh, and Big Marsh is being converted to a dirt bike park with trails and treetop adventures. While progress is being made, much more is left to be done. Coordinating the work of a multitude of jurisdictions, such as the Chicago Park District, the EPA, the states of Illinois and Indiana, along with several municipalities, will require dedication and perseverance. [Excerpted from Summary of Calumet District Plans]