Chicago-based NPO UrbanRivers is hoping to install 600 feet of floating gardens in the Chicago River in order to restore its natural wildlife habitat. The project aims to provide vital sanctuaries for different animal and plant species and create a destination for kayakers, canoeists, fishermen, nature lovers and anyone who wants to enjoy urban wildlife. The team launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project to return wildlife to Chicago’s rivers and set an example for other cities to follow.
The floating gardens will be locked in place with a stainless steel quick connect system, making it easy to add additional gardens along the river, and concrete anchors secured using weighted guide rails. Measuring 600 feet by 10 feet, the proposed structure will be installed in four sections populated with native Illinois wetland and prairie plant species.
By planting different food and nectar sources as well as providing protection and materials for the native wildlife, the team hopes to boost the creation of a resilient ecosystem and facilitate biodiversity. The project aims to function as a wildlife habitat, a paddling park for kayaking and canoeing, and an outdoor classroom.