Cook County Forest Preserves announces $1.6M in enhancements to Sand Ridge Nature Center

Cook County Forest Preserves announces $1.6M in enhancements to Sand Ridge Nature Center
Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Calumet region. Photo credit Sand Ridge Nature Center

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — South suburbanites and others may want to take a new look at a longtime favorite in the Cook County Forest Preserve system: the Sand Ridge Nature Center.

Cook County has spent more than $1.5 million to upgrade the Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland as well as nearby amenities such as the Green Lake Family Aquatic Center and Camp Shabonna.

Forest Preserve Supt. Arnold Randall told WBBM Newsradio the 1-square mile campus is more cohesive now.

“A family would come to a big reunion at one of our picnic groves not realizing that a nature center, this one, was right around the corner. Visitors at a campsite didn’t know that there was a nearby aquatic center or fishing or a chance to hike through wetlands,” Randall said.

As part of the renovation, 30 acres of invasive plant species have been removed from around the Sand Ridge Nature Center.

“The special place will be able to be enjoyed by generations of Cook County residents for years to come,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

Cook County Forest Preserves announces $1.6M in enhancements to Sand Ridge Nature Center
The Lost Beach and Dogwood Trails feature boardwalks over wetlands. Photo credit Sand Ridge Nature Center