US Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District

Rosewood Park Coastal

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Authority: Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration (Section 506, WRDA 2000) as amended.


Rosewood Park is an 11-acre park located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Ill. It is located near Roger Williams Avenue and Sheridan Road in the Ravinia neighborhood. The restoration encompasses approximately seven acres that primarily occur within lower Rosewood with some restoration occurring along the perimeter of upper Rosewood. 

The park was once the estate of U.S. clothier Julius Rosenwald, part owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Around 1910, Rosenwald hired famed landscape architect Jens Jensen to design the grounds of the estate. Today, the reflecting pool, carriage bridge, and surroundings at upper Rosewood are all that remain of his work at the site. The portions of the park designed by Jensen are mainly restricted to upper Rosewood and are therefore excluded from this project footprint. Today the park is owned and operated by the Park District of Highland Park (PDHP).  The park is unique in that it preserves beach, bluff, ravine, stream, and oak savanna habitat.


Total project cost: $8,801,423

Federal cost: $5,720,925

Nonfederal cost: $3,045,988

Funding of this project is through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

Project Benefits:

The restoration of the native habitat types within Rosewood Park provide a heterogeneous ecosystem that promote species diversity. The project includes restoring lake, ravine, beach & foredune, bluff, and savanna habitats for resident and migratory species of insect, fish, amphibian, reptile, and bird. Each habitat type provides important stop-over, nesting, and foraging opportunities to a unique suite of bird species. The lake and ravine habitat will provide critical spawning habitat for many native game and non-game fishes. Overall, the proposed plan will greatly benefit the overall ecological integrity of the area.

Current Status:

The preliminary restoration plan was approved in February 2011. The environmental assessment (EA) was sent out for the 30-day public review on Aug. 22, 2012, along with the EA plates. After the 30-day review period closed, the EA along with comments and responses were incorporated into the detailed project report (DPR) and submitted for approval. The DPR was approved in November 2012.

The project partnership agreement was signed in July 2013. The construction contract was advertised on Aug. 9, 2013 with bids due on Sept. 10, 2013. The construction contract was awarded in September 2013. The second year of the five-year construction contract was completed at the end of the 2015 construction season. This work included building the breakwater system in accordance with permit requirements, daylighting the stream, and installing the porous parking lot. The remaining work to be done includes plant establishment and maintenance activities. Construction is anticipated to be complete in fall 2018.

Project highlight:

This project received one of five awards from the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association's 2016 Best Restored Beaches.

Project Manager

Kirston Buczak


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