Lake Katherine was established in 1988 by the Village of Palos Heights on Metropolitan Water Reclamation District leased land. As the largest open space site in the Village at almost 100 acres, it serves as a recreational area, a botanic garden and a nature center for educational classes. The volunteer board that governs the site decided a master plan was needed to guide the future development. Upland Design was brought in to lead the planning.
In 2011, Upland Design was brought in to assist the community and create a new master plan to guide the future development. Upland Design led focus groups, interactive public input sessions as well as meeting with key stakeholders to create a plan based on community needs as well as a strong design vision. The master plan promotes environmental sustainable choices through education, outdoor experiences, and scientific research. This also creates a diverse site that encourages visitors to explore the natural world through a series of activities and amenities. In addition to the graphic plan, a booklet of guidelines for site furnishings, lighting and landscape was created which included information on plan budget, phasing and grant information to further help guide development.
Proposed amenities include tree house with adventure play area and rope climbing course, large event space, educational tea house, overlook decks, prairie maze and boardwalk wetlands.