West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

New Grants Support Citizen Science Center

Two recent grants further our PAC’s goal of expanding our Citizen Science Center at West Ridge Nature Preserve. We piloted citizen scientist data collection on a limited basis last season and these grants will help us expand our efforts.
Our PAC’s proposal writing activity resulted in $2,500 from the Night Out in the Parks program and the Friends of the Parks – Seed Grant. These funds enable us to purchase essential monitoring and educational equipment and pay for printing, laminating, and publicity to continue developing the project.

This season we are continuing our monitoring of frogs, toads, birds, and butterflies as well as expanding to dragonflies, damsel flies, and singing insects. Plans also are in the works to survey bats, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. Not only will we use this data to improve our own preserve, but we also will share it with other area agencies.
 
The work of the Citizen Science Center provides the organizational structure, themes and many of the activities for our family oriented events. Local and state agencies have stepped up to provide related displays and interactive science experiences.