Meadow Lake / Main Parking Lot at the Morton Arboretum


Lisle, IL
United States

Project Size
27.7 acres
Project type
Open Space- Garden
Site Context
Former Land Use
Terrestrial Biome
Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
$7.4 million
Project overview

These two projects comprise 27 acres of The Morton Arboretum's 1700 total acres. The Meadow Lake restoration took a poor quality man-made retention lake with eroded banks and created a reshaped and regraded lake with water fluctuation measures, a ten-foot wide geoweb installed at the normal water level, soil amendments, and over 68,000 wetland plants. The Main Parking Lot project is adjacent to Meadow Lake and incorporates best management practices for managing stormwater and nonpoint source water pollution. The surface is a permeable concrete paver system. Below the pavers is a 4 -foot gravel bed that stores stormwater and slows its progress through the watershed. Water is also collected in bioswales in the parking lot. Plants within the bioswales biologically filter contaminates in the water, assisted by mechanical filtering through the gravel bed under the parking lot. The cleaner, slower-moving water enters Meadow Lake and eventually the East Branch of the DuPage River. A $1.2 million EPA grant provided partial support for this construction project. Both projects are showcased in our main visitor area and provide an educational opportunity for the Arboretum's many visitors. photo by: The Morton Arboretum staff

Project Team
  • The Morton Arboretum: Gerry Donnelly, CEO; Kris Bachtell, Head of Collections; Ralph Grieco, Capital Projects Manager; Scott Mehaffey, Landscape Architect
  • Conservation Design Forum: James Patchett, Principal; Thomas Price, Principal; Jay Womack, Project Manager
  • Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH): W. James Marold, PE, Project manager; John P. Chitty, Principal Environmental Specialist; Peter T. Mulvaney, Wetland Biologist; Ken Bagstad, Wetland Botanist
  • Christopher B. Burke Engineering West Ltd.: John Wills; Andy Sikich, Project Manager; Pat Kelsey, Environmental
  • Featerstone: Tom Featerstone
  • Baetis Environmental Services: David Pott
  • Living Habitats: Heidi Natura