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Rewilding Chicago’s Waterways

About the program

Program Location

905 W Eastman St

Chicago Architecture Center

111 East Wacker Drive

Sunday-Tuesday: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wednesday-Saturday: 10:00 AM-7:00 PM

Ticketed Admission.

The Wild Mile is one-of-a-kind: a floating eco-park in the heart of the city. Visit this steadily growing wonder on the North Branch of the Chicago River for a conversation, walking tour and optional kayak adventure with co-creators Urban Rivers and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

Backed by the City of Chicago as part of a larger effort to redefine and rehabilitate this channelized section of the river, a team of experts and community partners devised the Wild Mile as proof-of-concept in how industrial waterways can be reborn as wildlife sanctuaries connecting city dwellers to nature. In 2022, the first 400 feet of what will ultimately be an intricate mile-long network of floating boardwalks and wetlands debuted along the North Branch Canal behind the REI store at Kingsbury and Eastman. And this spring an extension is underway that will double the park’s length.

Urban Rivers co-founder and Executive Director Nick Wesley and SOM Partner Doug Voigt will share fascinating details of the design, planning and lengthy negotiations behind this undertaking and give tours of the new landscape and habitat. Come discover the thriving ecosystem that has quickly taken hold above and below the water’s surface!

This program is part of our Loop as Lab: Reshaping Downtowns exhibition series exploring key themes for the future of cities.

Due to space limitations, this event is capped at 40 registrants. Those interested in the kayak tour should plan for an extra hour and it is first come first served with a maximum capacity of 8 participants. This option will be available upon checkout.

The City is the Site