West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District


Pack in as Much Outdoor Time as You Can!

Our Nature Preserve's  Offerings

Wind Down in the Fall.

New Friday Forest Play Group
Offers Young Children
Outdoor Experiences

Our first Forest Play Group, designed for young children (birth - age 5), gathers in our Nature Play Area on Friday mornings, 9:30 to 11:30. This is a drop-in program with a suggested weekly notification.

Children, accompanied by their parents or caregivers, experience nature's beauty as the seasons change throughout the year. They also learn while playing and creating.

Emily Chiesa Klein and Karen Brennan, both trained early childhood teachers and friends of our nature preserve, lead this drop-in play group each Friday.

In addition to supporting free play, Emily and Karen offer a circle of songs, poems and a simple puppet play followed by a shared snack. And they set up a weekly nature-inspired craft. 

Most of all, they offer a chance for parents and caregivers to come together and support one another in the exciting journey of parenting/caregiving while enjoying the gifts of the forest!

To know how big of a snack to prepare, please RSVP each week by Thursday at:  sites.google.com/view/forestplaygroup-wrnp.

We suggest that you . . . 
  • Donate  $10 per family each week to cover the costs of food and supplies.
  • Bring a cup, bowl, and spoon for yourself and for your child(ren).
  • Dress in layers for the weather. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] with questions about RSVPing or anything else.

West Ridge Nature Preserve is located at 5801 N. Western Ave.  There is street parking. Enter at Ardmore and Western and follow the right path to the first path that you encounter on your left.  Follow that path to the nature play area.

We look forward to joining you in the forest!
Karen and Emily - Friends of West Ridge Nature Preserve
[email protected]

 Fall Activities

Click to edit table header
Forest Play Group 
   Every Friday, beginning.....
  Oct. 12
 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Stewardship Workdays
  Oct. 20
 10 a.m. - noon
  Nov. 17
 10 a.m. - noon
Bird Walks
  Oct. 28
 8 - 9 a.m.
  Nov. 25
 8 - 9 a.m.

  Raise Your Hand in Support of Nature Play Area Construction!
You can donate money at our last Family Nature Day of the year, September 23.

 You also can contribute funds by 

1) clicking on the Donate button on the bottom of this page,

2) sending a check to our PAC treasurer, or 

3) going to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/wrnp-nature-play-area.

Here's the Latest

Received plan approval from Chicago Park District 

Won a significant grant 

In process of soliciting donations 

Still need $20,000 for CPD to begin construction

Read More about Our PAC Sponsored and Self-Directed Activities

Nature Preserve Flowers

You already can see flowers emerging all around the nature preserve. As the season progression, we expect to enjoy a full progression of colorful blooms.

Last fall and this spring, thanks to the Chicago Park District and volunteers, we planted approximately 2,000 wildflower plugs and another 1,200 plants throughout the preserve.

(See woodland flower samples)