West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

Nature Play Area Enhancement Requires 

Donations of Money, Labor and Materials  

Good news! The Nature Oasis Program of the Chicago Park District (CPD) gave us the green light! They certified our Nature Play Area space and approved our enhancement proposal. Approved were most of our plan's features shown in drawing above.  While we also received a major grant, we still need $20,000 for work to begin.

Now we go forward with funding and building efforts.  Dig into your pockets. Roll up your sleeves.
The hard work is underway.
The intent is for CPD to begin work on our Nature Play Area this coming September. Thus, time is of the essence! 

Here's How You Can Help

The CPD requires us to cover their construction costs. We also need volunteers to build certain features and donate materials. To help this special place become a reality for our communities' children, you can:

  • Contribute a tax-deductible donation. 

--Use our website donation button (bottom of page) 

--Go to our Crowdrise page:   


--Send a check by mail, to West Ridge Nature Preserve, Treasurer Tom Murphy, 1314 W. Granville, Chicago, IL 60660. Write on your check, For Nature Play Area. You will receive a tax deductible letter.

  • Suggest sponsors and/or ask any possible sponsor. We looking first and foremost for money but raffle coupons are also welcome. 

  • Provide needed labor and materials:
--Create a digging pit surrounded by logs to hold in the contents              (sand/dirt mixture, pea gravel or mulch) and to sit on
--Build a small wooden stage 6’ x 8’ x 8” with rounded side lips
--Create curtains for the stage to stretch between two poles (poles will be installed by the CPD)
--Build or donate a chalk board (possibly sandwich type) for children to write and draw on
--Create a sturdy, solid wooden entrance sign
--Build a kiosk similar to the one at the entrance on Western for notices and information
--Build two sensory tables
--Donate sensory table materials (sand, pea stones, other textured fillers) and play tools
--Donate mud kitchen materials for play
--Build simple, rustic stump benches

The cost of materials can be covered if you desire. Click here to volunteer for construction and/or other support  or express your interest on our Contact Page.  

We cannot overemphasize how crucial the community is to the success of this project.  There is a place for you as fundraisers, builders, marketers,  and donors.

Benefits to Children


As children explore and interact in our enhanced 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.

And what fun they will have! They can dig in the dirt, climb a log structure, roll down a hill, walk through a tall grass maze, crawl through a tunnel, and so much more.

   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

Learn More about Play Area Implementation Below.                                                                                      Read Background Information

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