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Renovation Update

We celebrate the progress. The wild, untamed corner at Western and Peterson has undergone a transformation that has turned it into the Chicago Park District’s West Ridge Nature Preserve. The plan encompasses a rebuilt landscape designed for both wildlife and humans. The number and variety of native plants and trees will attract and protect birds, animals, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and fish.

Is the Preserve Handicapped Accessible?

All paths meet the requirements for access by people with disabilities. We are investigating ways to provide porta potties and additional benches. Nearby parking is generally available on Western Avenue between Bryn Mawr and Peterson.

What Are Our Most Critical Volunteer Needs?

  1. Helping to acquire and plant additional trees and shrubs
  2. Doing restoration work
  3. Monitoring wildlife
  4. Supervising site

What Will You Note When You Visit the Preserve?

Park district contractors have:

  1. Removed brush, invasive species, diseased trees, and most dead trees
  2. Planted 300 more appropriate and diverse trees
  3. Planted 200 new shrubs—mostly fruit or nut bearing
  4. Completed paths—all handicapped accessible
  5. Built boardwalk, overlooks, fishing station, and council ring
  6. Prepared the wetlands
  7. Planted 500 pounds of seeds and 36,000 wetland, savanna, and woodland plant plugs
  8. Completed the fence surrounding the site
  9. Developed the area around the entrance at Western and Ardmore for public access and use

What Comes Next?

The members of the Park Advisory Committee for the West Ridge Nature Preserve eagerly anticipate the Preserve's use by the public. We look forward to 10,000 more plantings this year. We also look ahead to the growth, development, and evolution of this unique natural area.

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