Chicago Park District
Snowy day at North Park Village Nature Center.

Snowy day at the Nature Center.

 
Snow covered day at the North Park Village Nature Center
 
North Park Village Nature Center

North Park Village Nature Center

 
North Park Village Nature Center
 
North Park Village Nature Preserve

North Park Village Nature Preserve

 
North Park Village Woodlands
 
Volunteers at North Park Village Nature Center

Come out and Volunteer!

 

North Park Village Nature Center

5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646

Hours: Daily 10am - 4pm

Park Supervisor:
Julie Sacco

(312) 744-5472

 
 
 

Description

North Park Village Nature Center features a 46-acre nature preserve and educational facility, which are situated within the 155-acre North Park Village campus. The nature preserve offers trails that wind through woodland, wetland, prairie and savanna. A discovery room, a hands-on table of natural objects, and interactive displays are highlights of the Nature Center.

There are public programs for preschoolers, school age children, families and adults. EcoExplorers summer day camp focuses on nature-based games and learning activities for children aged 5-14 years old. Neighborhood Naturalists is a special outreach program serving third graders in Chicago Public Schools. Volunteers find many ways to express their interests at the Nature Center, including helping lead field trips, assisting during festivals, greeting visitors at the reception desk, and participating in ecological restoration efforts.

The mission of North Park Village Nature Center is to provide visitors with an opportunity to interact with and learn about wildlife and natural resources in an urban setting. There are programs, events and activities for all ages to enjoy while discovering our shared natural heritage at the first nature center within the city of Chicago. Open 7 days a week (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays) from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Whether you seek serenity, a place to spot a rare bird, or a place to volunteer your time and talent, visit this oasis of nature in the city – this hidden gem. 

APR
16
Storytelling Guild Meeting at NPV
Event's details
April 16, 2014

Time:07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(07:30 PM - 09:30 PM)
 
APR
16
Armchair Expeditions at NPV
Event's details
April 16, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
APR
17
Stinky Onions at NPV
Event's details
April 17, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:00 PM)
 
APR
19
Orienteering for Beginners at NPV
Event's details
April 19, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
APR
19
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
April 19, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
APR
26
Parent & Child Together in the Wild- Onions at NPV
Event's details
April 26, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
APR
26
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
April 26, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
APR
27
Biomes of the World: Rainforests at NPV
Event's details
April 27, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
MAY
3
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
May 03, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
MAY
5
Illinois Mycological Association Meeting at NPV
Event's details
May 05, 2014

Time:07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(07:00 PM - 09:00 PM)
 
MAY
10
Herbal Workshop II at NPV
Event's details
May 10, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
MAY
10
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
May 10, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
MAY
14
Armchair Expeditions at NPV
Event's details
May 14, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
MAY
17
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
May 17, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
MAY
18
Chicago Turtle Club at NPV
Event's details
May 18, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:30 PM)
 
MAY
20
Silly Geese at NPV
Event's details
May 20, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:00 PM)
 
MAY
21
Storytelling Guild Meeting at NPV
Event's details
May 21, 2014

Time:07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(07:30 PM - 09:30 PM)
 
MAY
24
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
May 24, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
MAY
26
Silly Geese at NPV
Event's details
May 26, 2014

Time:10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(10:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
 
MAY
29
Silly Geese at NPV
Event's details
May 29, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:00 PM)
 
MAY
30
Late Great Nocturnal Night at NPV
Event's details
May 30, 2014

Time:04:00 PM - 08:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(04:00 PM - 08:00 PM)
 
MAY
31
Color Study in the Growing Season at NPV
Event's details
May 31, 2014

Time:12:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(12:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
MAY
31
Spring Migratory Bird Walks at NPV
Event's details
May 31, 2014

Time:08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(08:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
JUN
1
Parent & Child Together in the Wild- Geese at NPV
Event's details
June 01, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
JUN
2
Illinois Mycological Association Meeting at NPV
Event's details
June 02, 2014

Time:07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(07:00 PM - 09:00 PM)
 
JUN
6
Silly Geese at NPV
Event's details
June 06, 2014

Time:10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(10:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
 
JUN
14
City Wilds Festivalof Backyard Biodiversity at NPV
Event's details
June 14, 2014

Time:09:00 AM - 09:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(09:00 AM - 09:00 PM)
 
JUN
15
Chicago Turtle Club at NPV
Event's details
June 15, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:30 PM)
 
JUN
17
Walking Stick Woods at NPV
Event's details
June 17, 2014

Time:10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(10:00 AM - 11:30 AM)
 
JUN
18
Senior Sessions at NPV
Event's details
June 18, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
 
JUN
18
Storytelling Guild Meeting at NPV
Event's details
June 18, 2014

Time:07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(07:30 PM - 09:30 PM)
 
JUN
19
Walking Stick Woods at NPV
Event's details
June 19, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
JUN
25
Walking Stick Woods at NPV
Event's details
June 25, 2014

Time:10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(10:00 AM - 11:30 AM)
 
JUN
27
Late Great Nocturnal Night at NPV
Event's details
June 27, 2014

Time:04:00 PM - 08:00 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(04:00 PM - 08:00 PM)
 
JUN
28
Parent & Child Together in the Wild- Ponds at NPV
Event's details
June 28, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
JUN
30
Walking Stick Woods at NPV
Event's details
June 30, 2014

Time:01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago IL 60646


 
(01:00 PM - 02:30 PM)
 
 

We offer a number of programs and events for preschoolers, school age children, families and adults.  To see our current list of offerings, click on the Events tab just above.


 

SPRING PROGRAMS:
Online registration for our park begins Monday, February 24 at 9 am, and in-person registration begins Saturday, March 1. Spring programs run the week of March 31 through the week of June 2.

SUMMER PROGRAMS:
Online registration for our park’s summer programs begins Monday, April 7 at 9 am, and in-person registration begins Saturday, May 3. Our traditional 6-week summer camp program runs June 23 through August 1. Most other summer programs run the week of June 16 through the week of August 18.

Join us!

 

 
 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Birding Area 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1
Nature Center 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1
Paths and Trails 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1
Prairies & Grasslands 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1
Savannas and Woodlands 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1
Wetlands 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. 1

The Nature Center is often described as a hidden gem in the city. But this site was well known to generations before us, and clues to how people used the land can be found here. The wild onion and wild leek growing in wet woods here inspired American Indians to name this area the “land of the stinking onion” which was translated to “Chicago” by European settlers. In the early 1800s, farmers drained the wet areas to plant crops. And in the late 1800s, a tree nursery was established under the ownership of Norwegian immigrant Pehr Petersen. The very successful Mr. Peterson provided all the trees and shrubs for the World’s Fair in 1893, most of the trees in Lincoln Park and up to seven-eighths of all the trees planted in Chicago’s parkways and boulevards by 1910.

In 1911, Chicago acquired the land from Peterson’s family and used 158 acres to create the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium. This buffer of nature was used to prevent the disease from spreading, and to heal the patients admitted here. Portions of the land were changed into paths, gardens for growing food, fields to play and a pond for recreation. The building that would become the Nature Center was originally the Sanitarium’s dispensary, where certain patients could come to get their medications. Patients were here into the 1970s when the Sanitarium was closed.

In the 1980s, plans were to raze the land and construct strip malls and condominiums. However, community activists rallied against these plans, ushering in the preservation of North Park Village. In 1989, an easement was enacted to prohibit any development of this property and to define how it was to be maintained as a natural area for 75 years. Efforts are being made by today’s community activists to extend this protection into perpetuity.

Now, in a short stroll, visitors can experience a forest, a prairie, wetland and oak savanna. And in the 1980s, a sweet new tradition was begun: the Maple Syrup Festival, which taps into the very trees that Pehr Peterson planted more than a century ago. Eventually, programming and visits to the Nature Center grew with additional events such as the Harvest Festival, Winter Solstice, and City Wilds Fest.

On April 1, 2004 the Nature Center became part of the Chicago Park District. Whether you seek serenity, a place to spot a rare bird, or a place to volunteer your time and talent, visit this oasis of nature in the city – this hidden gem.

Contact: Melissa McDaniel

Contact Title: Secretary

Phone: (773) 478-0202

Email: mmcdaniel@northrivercommission.org

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

 

 

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