E15 - Rethink What a River Can Be

Thursday, November 15 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM | 375C « Back

Abstract Text:

Urban Rivers, helmed by Nick Wesley and George Brigandi, will be taking the Master Series stage at Greenbuild Chicago to share their inspiring story about utilizing innovative solutions to rehabilitate and improve urban waterways, starting with their hometown Chicago River. In 2017, Urban Rivers started building the first-ever, mile-long, floating eco-park in the world, The Wild Mile, in the North Branch Canal of the Chicago River – notably, the park grew to more than 2,100 sq ft this summer and should be complete by 2020. The final park will feature floating forests, prairie, wetlands, walkways, kayak launches and learning areas. The hundreds of different species of native flora in the park will boost biodiversity in the river by providing native organisms with much needed habitat. These plants will also act as natural water filters by purifying contaminated river water, through the process of phytoremediation. The Wild Mile's floating walkways, kayak launches and learning centers will make this one of Chicago's most desirable natural attractions for locals and tourists alike. Audiences will come away from this presentation with renewed inspiration and fire to encourage others to rethink how they can re-purpose the industrial relics of the past to create urban habitat of the future.

Learning Objectives:

Understand the history of the North Branch Canal (NBC) in the Chicago River – created and used for outdated purposes

Discover the many threats that endanger waterways, communities and biodiversity in urban areas

Learn how natural solutions can improve the health, appearance and use of neglected urban waterway, significantly impacting the surrounding areas positively

Uncover how the Wild Mile is transforming the North Branch Canal into much more than just an urban waterway – all of Chicago will benefit


GBCI Credit Hours:

Event Type: Master Series > Session