A view of the Chicago skyline from Northerly Island Park
Credit: Studio Gang / Steve Hall

Northerly Island Park is a 119-acre park situated along the Lake Michigan shoreline on Chicago’s Museum Campus. Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks and exists as the only island to be completed. The site of the Century of Progress World Fair in 1933, Northerly Island has since been transformed into an urban nature sanctuary, making it the ideal location to investigate the intersection of Chicago’s natural and built environments.

This lakefront Natural Area features prairie and savanna, a 5-acre pond, and strolling paths that offer great views for observing birds and other native wildlife. The path runs along the western side of the peninsula, terminating at the southern end. There are over 150 different varieties of native plants and an emerging savanna with 20,000 trees and shrubs, all of which provide an ecosystem for migratory and local birds.

Northerly Island Park epresents the city’s long-standing efforts to maintain the accessibility of the lake front to all Chicagoans and encourage the public’s engagement with the outdoors.