Skokie River Woods
Hey and Associates, Inc. was retained by the Park District of Highland Park in 2008 to prepare ecological restoration plans for Skokie River Woods, an approximately 27-acre property characterized by degraded wetlands and oak woodlands. Project design also incorporated a limestone trail traversing the site, several boardwalks crossing low areas, and interpretive signage. The project reduced flood damages and improved water quality along Skokie River. As part of the project, Hey prepared a Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC) Wetland Restoration Fund (WRF) grant application for funds that were available specifically within the Chicago River watershed. The purpose of the WRF funds included restoration of historic wetlands and improvement of hydrologic and biologic features of sites in the Lake County portion of the North Branch of the Chicago River watershed. As a result of these efforts, the Park District received funding to restore wetlands and oak woodlands on this site.
In 2016, Hey was retained by the Park District to lead a Master Planning process to update and expand upon previous design efforts to develop an ecologically sensitive pedestrian access trail through Skokie River Woods. Trail options incorporate boardwalks and overlooks with an emphasis on creating linkages with surrounding neighborhoods, existing trails, and the nearby Park District Recreation Center. Supporting design documents for trail alignments include existing conditions inventory, representative images, trail surface options, quantities, and opinions of probable cost for each trail alternative.