West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

You, the Community, Will Drive Nature Play Area Improvement 

The Chicago Park District’s rules have changed. To keep our Nature Play Area, we must meet the new Nature Oasis Program’s requirements through an approval process. On the plus side, the program gives you, the community, a unique opportunity to design
and improve what we have started.
Twenty-one community members braved the cold to attend our second Nature Play Area Community Meeting on Saturday, January 13, at Green Briar Field House. 

They got a sneak preview of our proposed play area design and learned about our recently submitted proposal to the Nature Oasis Program. Many signed up for committees.

The meeting featured two speakers. Teresa Weed, founder, lead teacher and administrator of the Forest Preschool at North Park Village Nature Center, talked about the benefits of nature play.  And Sarah Unz, Outdoor and Environmental Education Manager, Chicago Park District, provided information about the park district's new focus on nature play spaces.

The first meeting on October 23 laid the groundwork for this project, with the newly organized Site Design Committee taking the lead. This and other committees drive the planning and implementation process.

We cannot overemphasize how crucial the community is to the success of this project.  

You are welcome to email the address below to learn how how can become involved. 

Arlene Brennan


Please follow the link below to access the Chicago Park District's community guidelines for nature play areas.

“Tree Towers” Mosaic Sculpture Greets Nature Preserve Visitors

Mosaic Sculpture Community Celebration

A “Tree Towers” mosaic sculpture now rises from the ground just beyond our nature preserve’s entrance gate. Three colorful towers, featuring depictions of native species, invite visitors to enter and explore.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Saturday, October 23, 2017 with Alderman Patrick O’Connor and County Commissioner Bridget Gainer presiding. Also present was Green Star Movement’s Executive Director, Kamelia Hristeva. Her group created the sculpture as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Year of Public Art and an inclusive 40th Ward selection process.

At the ceremony, the Alderman and Commissioner made a surprise announcement. Their joint effort will result in a new DIVVY station across the street from the preserve along with a mosaic origami heron sculpture, created by Green Star Movement.

Two artists from Art Side Out Studio & Mask Shop, new neighbors on Western Avenue, pranced about in large fish and heron masks. They helped draw people into the preserve and added joy to the celebration.

See Tree Towers Sculpture Photos for a pictorial description of erecting and celebrating the sculpture.

See Background Story for how our preserve became the site for the sculpture.

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