Thorn Creek Conservancy Industrial Park

Chicago Heights, IL
Project Period: 2006 – On-going

Project Highlights
  • Re-meandering of 1,500-ft section of Thorn Creek Tributary A
  • Restoration of 12.5 acres of marsh habitat and 17.5 acres of upload prairie buffer
  • Stabilization of 1,360-ft section of relocated Jackson Creek (Class B stream)
  • Received USEPA Conservation and Native Landscaping Award in 2009

An award winning project, Thorn Creek Conservancy Industrial Park is a stellar example of LRMG's trademark approach to sustainable design. Our green approach to development transformed the 100-acre fallow farm land into a green industrial park benefiting both wildlife and economic growth. Application of a comprehensive land resource evaluation and some innovative engineering resulted in 70 acres of buildable land surrounded by a dedicated 30-acre natural area.

LRMG prepared a wetland mitigation plan for submission to the Corps which entailed re-meandering of an approximately 1,500 foot section of Tributary A of Thorn Creek to alleviate pervasive erosion and sloughing of a severe "right-angle" bank of the existing farm ditch channel. The plan design included restoration of 12.5 acres of marsh habitat "on-line" with the re-meandered channel and another 17.5 acres of upland prairie buffer. LRMG obtained permitting from the Corps, and sign-offs form the USFWS and IDNR for the restoration work.

LRMG's excellence in green planning, knowledge of regulatory permitting requirements, and expertise in restoration management has been evident throughout the project. In addition, LRMG has offered a high level of consultation to the City, ensuring that all our needs for economic development are met while doing outstanding service to our local environment.

Joe Kudra
Director of Economic Development, City of Chicago Heights

LRMG was also contracted by the owner to provide "turn-key" construction of the re-meandered creek, thus managed all aspects of work including excavation oversight, required temporary erosion control and bio-engineering for permanent stream stabilization, and restoration management associated with installation and 5 year maintenance and monitoring of native emergent wetlands and tallgrass prairie buffers. The project is currently in its final year of required maintenance and monitoring.

This project demonstrates a balance between development and conservation,creating opportunities for jobs while providing open space for people and restoring and preserving habitat for plants and wildlife.

Bharat Mathur
Acting Regional Administrator, USEPA Region 5

Thorn Creek Perspective
An artist rendition of the restored Thorn Creek Tributary and the industrial development.