Canal Shores, the not-for-profit public golf course along the banks of the North Shore Channel in Evanston and Wilmette, is launching its most ambitious fundraising initiative in its history.

The 100K in 100 Days fundraising campaign will generate vital capital for immediate needs – essential course repairs and upgrades, flood control, irrigation and equipment repairs – and will kickstart the “Canal Shores 100” Master Plan, a multi-year plan to restore and enhance the natural habitat and renovate the golf course.

The Master Plan looks to position the course on a sustainable path for the next century. The campaign was launched on Aug. 20 and concludes in mid-November. 

Established in 1919 by Peter Jans and Evanston and Wilmette community leaders, Canal Shores golf course is situated on 82 acres of green space from the Baha’i Temple on the north to Green Bay Road on the south.

It has consistently maintained its commitment to recreation, open space and positively impacting youth through opportunities to learn and experience golf and nature.

“This fundraising campaign ensures our ability to preserve, protect, and enhance this special space and provide an economic base for its sustainability,” said Chris Carey, president of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association.

“Efforts are under way to protect wildlife habitats, maintain wetlands and native plantings, and remove invasive species, while maintaining open green space in an urban environment and providing a challenging and unique golf experience on a renovated course,” Carey said.

Canal Shores receives no public funds or tax dollars from the City of Evanston nor the Village of Wilmette and relies solely on greens fees and fundraising to operate. Donations are tax deductible.

Recent donors and supporters include the U.S. Golf Association, the Izaak Walton League, and the Garden Club of Evanston. The course also received a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“This fundraising campaign and our long-term development plan will ensure support for multiple uses by all members of the community: golfers, youth and families, walkers and runners, dog walkers, bird watchers, and neighbors who need a refuge from the daily grind,” Carey said.

The Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that was formed in 1919 to manage the operations of the 18-hole Canal Shores Golf Course. It is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization.

The land that comprises Canal Shores is sub-leased by the association from the City of Evanston and Village of Wilmette, which lease property from its owner, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Cook County.

It offers programs that celebrate the game of golf, with special programs designed for families, youth and the community.