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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Heller Nature Center in Highland Park Offers Nature Activities

Dec 27, 2016 09:54PM

Heller Nature Center, one of several Park District of Highland Park facilities, hosts a 97-acre Nature Preserve. The Nature Center opened in 1980 and is a great resource for outdoor education, recreation and community events. Visitors can have a picnic in the woodlands, visit a nature exhibit, participate in a program, play in Wander Woods or rent cross-country skis and explore three miles of trails. The programs are run by experienced staff from Heller Nature Center at a variety of locations each season.

     Beekeeping volunteers can learn about beekeeping from staff, other volunteers and professionals that assist Heller staff. Volunteer opportunities are scheduled throughout the year and include maintenance projects, as well as work with the live bees and hives. In addition, the Natural Areas Volunteer Program helps to maintain the woodland and prairie habitats found at Heller. Around 50 volunteers celebrated and enjoyed the fruits of their labor at the district’s annual volunteer recognition dinner at Heller Nature Center on December 1.

         GreenPrint 2024, the Park District’s comprehensive master plan (, was adopted at the December board meeting, establishing a clear set of goals, policies, standards and a vision to guide the future facility and program development decisions over the next 10 years. In conjunction with the district’s four-year strategic plans, it will ensure that resources are aligned with current and future resident needs, community values and changing demographics.


Heller Nature Center is located at 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park. For more information, call 847-433-6901 or visit For more information about the Natural Areas Program, call Liz Ettelson at 847-571-7740 or email [email protected]. For more information about beekeeping call Leah Holloway at 847-579-4184 or email