DOWNERS GROVE - The Downers Grove Park District is working with the village of Downers Grove to pursue improvements to Prince Pond.
The project is slated to start Nov. 30 and is expected to continue through the end of February 2021.
Paul Fyle, superintendent of planning and Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for the Downers Grove Park District, said the health of the pond is important to the community.
“It’s better to have a deeper pond,” Fyle said. “It makes it easier for fish to survive winter when you have a deeper water.”
Fyle added the park district believes the work is needed for the overall health.pond, 4941 Linscott Ave.
Plans are in the works to dredge the pond’s bottom to remove sediments. In addition, officials are seeking shoreline and walkway improvements to address accessibility issues.
Starting in November, the pond and the park will be closed to the public.
Typically, the park district allows people to use Prince Pond for ice skating in the winter, but that will not be the case this year, officials said.
“We will not have skating this year due to the project,” Fyle said. “The project will be going on during the winter months. The pond will be closed this year.”
Fyle said the park district hopes to start holding fishing events at Prince Pond upon completion of the improvements.
At a recent meeting of the Downers Grove Village Council, some officials said issues with storm water detention have been identified as an issue in town. The improvements to Prince Pond are designed to help in that regard, officials said.
The project has not been awarded to a contractor, and the improvement costs are not yet known, officials said.
Park district officials intend to open and review the bids that were submitted by contractors beginning Oct. 21.
Fyle said the project will not be awarded until the park board’s November meeting.
Prince Pond, was built 1892 as part of the E. H. Prince subdivision that surrounds it, according to the park district website. In 1894, a season ticket for ice skating at the pond could be purchased for $1 for children 10 years and younger.
This is not the first time the district has done significant work to the pond.
in 1932, it was excavated and reshaped into its current form, and the shelter at the north end was constructed. In 1936, it was donated to the village. It was purchased by the park district in 1948.
Because the pond was losing several feet of shoreline every year due to its freezing and thawing, the park district dredged the bottom again and added large boulders and stones around its perimeter in order to reduce erosion. In addition, play equipment, lighting and walkways were added as part of a renovation in the 1980s.