Thornton Creek Reservoir


Thornton, IL


Black and Veatch

Project Owner:

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Time Period:


TGDA designed the landscape for the final preparation of the Thornton Composite Reservoir, which is part of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) tunnel and reservoir plan (TARP). The site is located at the North Lobe of the Thornton Quarry.

TGDA worked with the team’s civil engineers to create a comprehensive plan that included native seeding and habitat restoration, streetscape design, and a small parking lot with an overlook for MWRD inspections. The site’s grading plan maximizes infiltration of stormwater via native seeding areas. TGDA plant selection includes a mixture of robust native prairie species and native trees that are evocative of an undulating savannah landscape typology.

In addition to planting, TGDA also assisted with other aspects of site design. We advised Primera Engineers on locating and elevating the quarry viewing platform to provide MWRD with optimal views of the TARP tunnel’s opening to the reservoir. We also helped craft a streetscape that offers a dramatic vista across the former quarry for those viewing the landscape from the road. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians now experience striking views across the quarry of a restored landscape punctuated with groupings of distinct tree species.

714 South Dearborn Street, Floor 5
Chicago, IL 60605
312 337 9145
© Terry Guen Design Associates