A Hidden Gem in the City

By Eva Larson

photo (14)

Park sign just off the sidewalk at North Park Village Nature center in Chicago on Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012.

Albany Park is filled to the brim with all sorts of culture, art, and entertainment that is appreciated by many of its residents. A somewhat forgotten opportunity for unconventional entertainment in our society is the Chicago Park District.

The North Park Village Nature Center is a branch of the Chicago Park District located in Albany Park. They offer several classes that bring people together through the love of nature. These range from exercise to classes about plants and animals. According to their website, the Nature Center is often described as “a hidden gem in the city.” The 46-acre preserve and education facility is nestled right into the hustling and bustling city amongst the sirens and car horns at 5801 N. Pulaski Rd. As you walk in, it feels like you are in another world.

Intentionally set in its location as the first Nature Center in Chicago, they aim to “provide visitors the opportunity to interact and learn about wildlife and natural resources.” They have programs for children of all ages, families as well as adults. They even have a summer day camp called EcoExplorers that focuses on nature-based games.

Throughout the month of December, the park is offering a free class for younger children where they can learn about owls and how they live. Included in this class is an ‘Owl Prowl’. Geared towards adults, this class both teaches adults about owls and takes them on an evening prowl to see how these birds hunt through the winter.

When the park was purchased by the city in 1911, it was converted into a tuberculosis sanitarium. In 1974 the sanitarium was closed and a public park was opened. The park itself is very extensive. It has senior housing, government buildings, a gymnasium, and of course the nature center.

Next Saturday, December 15, there will be a Winter Solstice Festival from 6-9 pm. There will be live music, crafts, walks along luminary-lit trails, and visitors from Big Run Wolf Ranch. You won’t want to miss it!

The North Park Village Nature Center is open 7 days a week from 10 am – 4 pm (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’ holidays).

This article was written by Eva Larson

klarson@vikings.northpark.edu

SOURCES:

http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/North-Park-Village-Nature-Center/

http://www.chicagoparent.com/magazines/chicago-parent/2008-february/back-to-nature

http://www.wrdenvironmental.com/results/habitat/northparkvillage.html

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About North Park Journalism Course

This blog is a place for NPU journalism students to post stories based on their specific beats in Albany Park: Crime, Arts and Entertainment, Business and Politics, etc. Posts should be free of spelling and grammar errors and accurate in all facts and content.
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One Response to A Hidden Gem in the City

  1. Right off the bat you caught my attention with your alluring HEADLINE. It is always very helpful and also interesting to learn about the hidden entertainment this neighborhood has to offer. I loved that you included that there are events coming up in the near future. The owl classes seem like a great free way to get young children involved with the environment. The Winter Solstice Festival sounds like a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.
    It would have been helpful for you to include the costs, if any, for each event. The Winter Solstice Festival was listed as free on the Chicago Park District website and required no registration. I believe that information would attract more people to participate in the event.
    Also I noticed that you spelled “North Park” as one word numerous times in your post. It is actually two separate words. That may make it difficult for your reader to look up the website when the name of the center is spelled incorrectly.
    The way you described the location of The North park Village Nature Center Nature Center as “nestled right into the hustling and bustling city amongst the sirens and car horns” was an enthralling way to describe how this center is a taste of the forest in the midst of this fast paced city.
    The history of the center and its use as a tuberculosis sanitarium in 1911 was fascinating and added flare to your post.
    The websites used were credible and easy to navigate. The Chicago Park District website was especially helpful in directing my way through the many opportunities center has to offer. The website was equipped with all the phone number necessary for signing up for classes or asking questions.
    Although you had original relevant photo with all the proper cutline information, I found the actual picture to be lacking the qualities for an impressive journalistic photograph. If the photo used natural lighting and followed the rule of thirds it would have been more pleasing to the eye. There was no unusualness aspect of your photo and it did not appear to tell a story or evoke any emotion.
    Thank you for this post, the hyperlink was accommodating. After reading it I have decided to attend the Winter Solstice Festival this Saturday.
    -Brooke

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