top of page

West Ridge Nature Preserve - Opening Day

No Weather is Too Cold

If You Are Dressed for It.

Take Winter Walks on Your Own

And See What Your Can See.

Have Your Preschoolers Participate

In Our Forest Play Group.

New Friday Forest Play Group

Offers Young Children

Seasonal 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 and donation.

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:

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 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

Winter Activity

Observe and Post Data During

Annual Christmas Bird Count Sponsored by Audubon Society

As many of you ardent bird watchers know, our region's annual Christmas bird count takes place all day on Sunday, December 16. The sites are our Nature Preserve along with Warren Park and Graceland Cematary.

Simply go to any of those sites at any time during the 16th, keeping a list of the species you see and in what numbers. Then email your results to Jeff will be tabulating "high counts" and reporting the date to our region's compiler.

Check your calendars and, if possible ,let Jeff know if you can co er any or all of these sites and, in general, a what times. He will try to get a few groups together.

Most bird watchers should be expert enough to carry out this task. But if you need more information contact Jeff at the email above.

Raise Your Hand for Continuing Support of Nature Play Area !

 You 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

Here's the Latest

            • Our PAC received enough funding for construction of Nature Play Area features.
            • The Chicago Park District will be working on the site this fall through 2020.
            • We continue to solicit donations for programming and site maintenance.

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.

bottom of page