West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

Good News! 

PAC Receives Enough Funding

To Cover Nature Play Area Construction  

Hooray, We Did It.! Thanks to your donations plus generous funding from the city, the Chicago Park District can move forward with implementing our Nature Play Area plan. Work starts in the fall and continues into 2019. The construction includes most of the design elements above along with additional items.

You can imagine how excited we were to receive the following letter:

From Jason Steger
Natural Areas Manager | Chicago Park District
Department of Cultural and Natural Resources

I am happy to inform you and the rest of the Park 568 (West Ridge Natural Area) PAC members that we have received full funding for our project. This includes the abbreviated scope as well as several additional elements from the original scope that will make this project a fully realized nature play space.

 A heartfelt congratulations to all parties involved who have helped to make this happen. Looking forward to working with all of you moving forward!
We also congratulate and appreciate the involved parties - our donors, volunteers and supportive Chicago Park District team. And we can't overemphasize how crucial you will continue to be. 

In particular, the community is the heart and soul of this effort. We will  need you as we develop programming and eventually assume responsibility for maintaining the play area
Please join us in encouraging children to play and learn in this natural environment. As they explore and interact in the Nature Play Area, they will improve their cognitive, creative, social and physical skills. 

We also hope they fall in love with nature and become future stewards of the environment.
                                Read Background Nature Play Area Information

Nature Preserve is Now a NestWatch Member

Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology NestWatch program recently welcomed the West Ridge Nature Preserve as its newest chapter. This membership supports the work of our Citizen Science Center. NestWatch uses citizen scientists to track birds’ nesting choices, eggs laid, fledgling rate, and survival nationwide.

Being a NestWatch Chapter will help us improve and expand our preliminary monitoring of nests and nesting box outcomes—like our Eastern Bluebirds (insert link to our bluebird story). The monitoring protocols will formalize our information gathering while the free educational materials will further our school outreach efforts.

Birds are crucial to understanding the environment, as they are especially vulnerable to climate change, urban expansion, habitat loss and non-native species invasion. Our nesting data will go into NestWatch’s ever-expanding national database. Researchers use this information to better understand, study and protect birds – especially those that are endangered.

This information will add to the bird observation data already being collected and shared on Cornell’s Ebird sight. Go to the West Ridge Nature Preserve “Hotspot” on Ebird to see: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3921197

And for more information on ALL of the Cornell Lab’s good work go to: www.birds.cornell.edu

For further information, contact our birding docent, Jeff Wade, at [email protected].

   Limited Edition Nature Play Area Shirts

A New Way to Contribute Funds for Our Nature Play Area 

Buy a unique t-shirt


designed by an eight-year-old Nature Play Area fan.

Contact [email protected].


$10 - Children and Adult Sizes

                                                                                      Read Background Information

More News