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We have reached our fundraising goal!

The Park Ridge Friends of the Parks is engaging in a capital fundraising campaign to build an outdoor nature classroom for the Wildwood Nature Center Preschool program located at the Maine Park Leisure Center. With the renovation to the Maine Park Leisure Center in 2017, two indoor classrooms for Nature Preschool were created. Each of these classrooms feature external doors that lead directly to the area an Outdoor Nature Classroom will be developed. The Outdoor Nature Classroom will be an extension of the indoor classroom, and will allow our little learners a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities to grow physically, cognitively, psychologically, and academically. The Outdoor Classroom will feature a garden area, water table, digging area, messy materials area, building area, climbing areas, perennial garden and plantings, and a stage for music and movement,  as well as seating and gathering areas. The entire site will also be ADA accessible. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to build the Outdoor Nature Classroom. If you are interested in making a donation to the Park Ridge Friends of the Parks, please contact Margaret Holler at 847-692-3346 or

Amount Raised:

We've Reached our Goal of $50,000!


$2,222.50  Lamp Post Raffle 2020

$7,566.00  Pedals for the Parks 2020

$5,000.00  Grant from Allstate

$4,611.93   Trivia Event 2019

$  249.23   Pennies for the Parks 2019

$  587.00   Oktoberfest 2019

$  283.86   Yoga in the Park 2019

$  415.00    August 2 2019 Raffle

$3,023.00   June 14 2019 Raffle/Grilling

$5,676.67   Pedals for the Parks 2019

$  601.00   Oktoberfest 2018

$ 1,176.00   August 3 2018 Raffle

$2,976.00   June 15 2018 Raffle/Grilling 

$   611.00   July 3rd 2018 Raffle

$15,000.81  Misc. Donations

Benefits of the Outdoor Classroom


  • An increase in physical development, capability, and activity

  • Setting up patterns for an active, healthy lifestyle

  • Fewer children suffering from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and ADHD


  • Stronger language, problem-solving, and communication skills through projects and group activity

  • Developing an interest in science and math through connecting with nature

  • Fostering learning through self-initiation, control, and personal responsibility


  • Happier

  • Greater positive self-esteem

  • Effective relationship building in a cooperative, non-competitive environment

  • Building a healthy and balanced internal psychology from time spent alone

  • Manifesting classroom harmony

  • Social-emotional mastery


  • Familiarity with and appreciation of nature

  • Wide, expansive view of how the world works

  • Building stewardship skills for the environment

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