Award-winning ISGS publication explores the nature and culture of Chicago’s Lincoln Park

Dick Berg, ISGS director

An Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) publication, A Walking Guide to the History & Features of Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, is this year’s winner of the Association of Earth Science Editors’ 2017 Award for Outstanding Publication. The award recognizes a recent earth science publication that demonstrates outstanding writing, editing, design, illustration, effectiveness of production cost, and overall effectiveness in achieving its publication goal. 

Lincoln Park was chosen for its fine writing and the amount of information presented in a small, elegantly designed publication, according to Linda Deith, awards committee chair. Lincoln Park rose above other competitive entries for its graphically narrated sections blending the park’s geology, history, environment, and culture. The publication includes a handheld walking map illustrating 41 cultural features in the park and is available at no cost, which was made possible through a grant from the Illinois Coastal Management Program.

Lincoln Park was coauthored by Julia Bachrach, recently retired historian and preservationist for the Chicago Park District, and Michael Chrzastowski, retired coastal geologist at the ISGS. Chrzastowski brought to the work 25 years of experience focused on the glacial coastal geology, glacial and postglacial history of Lake Michigan, and impacts of the engineered coastline of Lake Michigan, as well as work on more than 35 publications.

Bachrach drew on her 28 years as park preservationist and author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks, now in its second edition. As curator of the Park District’s Special Collections, she had access to a large number of historical photographs, which brought the park’s rich history to life.

“Several readers commented on the quality of illustrations and the easy-to-use and attractive map,” said Chrzastowski. “I heard compliments on how interesting the publication is to read. The most interesting comment was that the publication gave the person an entirely new appreciation of Lincoln Park as a place of rich history and an interesting and surprising geologic past.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Program funded this project to encourage outdoor recreation and a connection with the Illinois lakefront through a better public understanding of Lincoln Park’s history, geology, and coastal processes.

 “The Walking Guide to the History & Features of Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois met the mark with compelling design, fascinating maps and historic photography, and detailed yet easy-to-read text,” said Diane Tecic, director of the Coastal Management Program.

Current and previous ISGS staff supported Bachrach and Chrzastowski on the project. ISGS director Richard Berg, chief scientist Steven Brown, and senior geologist Anne Ellison reviewed the manuscript and proofs. Lisa Anderson, outreach coordinator, was principal investigator on the grant. Cynthia Briedis, graphic artist and co-principal investigator, designed the publication and walking map and completed layout and figure processing of Bachrach’s portion. Michael Knapp, graphic artist, and Joel Dexter, digital imaging specialist at the Prairie Research Institute, provided all contemporary park photography. Deette Lund, geospatial data analyst, digitally enhanced Chrzastowski’s figures and produced layouts for the earth science portion of the booklet. Lund also completed the map portion of the foldout map and formatted each cultural component. Renae Strawbridge, program administrative assistant, edited and reviewed portions of the manuscript. Daniel Klen, assistant scientific editor, managed permissions and wrote and edited portions of the manuscript. Susan Krusemark, managing scientific editor, edited and proofread the publication.

Lincoln Park is a collaborative effort by the Park District and the ISGS to share the story of the park’s development, beginning from its complex glacial geology and detailing its unique architectural, landscaping, and cultural history. The ISGS has long held a mission of providing earth science information to the citizens and institutions of Illinois that is accurate, objective, and relevant to the state’s environmental quality, economic prosperity, and public safety. This mission aligns well with the trifold mission of the Chicago Park District to enhance the quality of life in Chicago by becoming the leading provider of recreation and leisure opportunities; to provide safe, inviting, and beautifully maintained parks and facilities; and to create a customer-focused and responsive park system that prioritizes the needs of children and families.

The publication is available for download at (booklet) and (map), and can be obtained for the cost of shipping from the Shop ISGS site,


Contact: Susan Krusemark,, 217-300-2807

Publication date11/1/2017