West Ridge Nature Preserve, Park Advisory Council (PAC)

Chicago Park District

New Citizen Science Center Needs Volunteer Monitors

Based on our nature monitoring pilot last year (see article below left), the West Ridge Nature Preserve has designated participation in the area wide citizen science program a priority. The program begins this spring and we need your help. We invite you to join our volunteer corps of wildlife monitors and attend one of the official training sessions. We will also be conducting in-house practice sessions later if you don’t feel confident enough to identify species on your own. Also, you can monitor individually, with a partner, or in a small group.

Training Schedule

  • Butterfly Study Group: Thursday, March 30, 7 PM, 6962 N. Hamilton #D.
  • Odonates (dragonflies & damselflies): http://www.illinoisodes.org
  • Butterflies: http://www.bfly.org/events.html
  • Singing Insects, Trees, Wildflowers, Bats, Animal tracking, Macroinvertebrates, Fish: TBD

Lend a Hand at Family Nature Days

And PAC Volunteer Work Days

Our popular Family Nature Days will resume in late spring. More information about what and when will be forthcoming.

Sign up under Education on the Contact page and express your interest in setting up, helping with activities, leading an activity, or other ideas you may have. During the fall and winter interim, you can contribute to feedback and planning.

PAC Volunteer Work Days occur the third Saturday of each month March through October, 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Sign up under Environment on the Contact page. Roll up your sleeves and pitch in clearing invasives and spreading existing seeds. 

Our Committees Want YOU:

Help, Plan, Belong

Education and Program Committee

Can you envision helping others embrace our urban wilderness? This committee creates and oversees activities that promote knowledge about natural habitats, especially ours. Maybe you care about introducing children to the joys of playing, experiencing and learning in nature. Maybe you care about adult learning. Many opportunities exist for involvement with Family Nature Days, the Nature Play Area and StoryWalk and with development of new activities and programs. We also need people to solicit and guide teacher groups, school field trips and nature organization outings. Sign up on the Contact Page under Education.

Nature Monitors and Site Observers Can Contribute to Conservation

Imagine a pleasant walk around a peaceful pond and though an oak woods. At the same time, you can contribute to the preservation and restoration of native flora and fauna as an official nature monitor or on-site observer. 

Nature Monitors participate in endangered species data collection. This project will resume in late spring with frog monitoring. Sign up under Environment on the Contact page.

Site Observers keep track of how the preserve is being used. Sign up under Environment on the Contact page. You can download and print the following Site Visit and Observation Checklist.

Download and print as .docx or .pdf

Environment Committee

Do you have a passion for environmental issues and a practical interest in clearing, weeding and planting? This committee focuses on protecting our nature preserve’s wildlife habitat. We advocate for and work toward enhancing its biodiversity. At the same time, we embrace the environmentally sensitive use of the area for viewing, walking, meditating, learning, bird watching and dock fishing. Our PAC stewards, both master naturalists, oversee our monthly volunteer PAC Work Days and On-site Observation efforts. Our involvement in monitoring endangered species is part of area-wide data collection efforts. Sign up on the Contact Page under Environment.

Promotion, Publicity and Communication Committee

How about those of you who love connecting with others – creating and sharing information, encouraging participation and involvement, keeping everyone in the loop? This committee informs PAC members, surrounding community groups, the press, and key governmental agencies of our activities and volunteer need. Help us identify new people to contact and new ways to spread the word. Contribute to one of our existing communication vehicles: fliers, e-blasts, a website, a Facebook page and an on-site kiosk. Coordination of information and consistency of message are priorities. Sign up on the Contact Page under Promotion, Publicity & Communication.

Resource and Development Committee

Are you someone who likes to search for resources and loves to write? This committee finds funds and material donations that meet our PAC's plans, goals and needs The Chicato Park District gives us help but as a PAC we raise our own money for programs and improvements. Help us identify grant opportunities and get background information on local companies. Maybe try your hand at writing a grant or developing a rationale for why the local community should support us. Or sit around with other PAC members and chat while we stuff envelopes. Sign up on the Contact Page under Resource and Development.