Friends of Ryerson Woods began as a small watchdog group in 1984 to ensure that the Lake County Forest Preserve kept the woods as Edward Ryerson envisioned when he donated the property to them. He said, “I bought the land from the grandson-in-law of the first permanent settler in Lake County…and I would like it to remain the way it was when the (Native American) Indians lived there before he came in 1834.”
In fact, the forest preserve district has done an outstanding job of keeping Ryerson Woods as one of the best natural spaces in the area, where pre-settlement flora and fauna still exist.
Next year the organization will celebrate its 30th anniversary. With the milestone, we wanted to find a name to better reflect the work that we do. In keeping a strong alliance with the woods and the Ryerson family, we chose a name that honors both. We are now known as Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.
Chairman Nick Bothfeld said, “When the board and staff considered where the organization is today, we realized that so much of our work revolves around Brushwood (the former Ryerson home) that we needed to include it as part of the new identity.”
You can see the new website and keep up to date on the variety of programs. Tea on Tuesdays is back for the cold months, where free tea is offered throughout the day every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will still continue to present world leaders in the area of environment and conservation, as well as innovative arts programming. We hope to see you at a program soon!
Director of Development and Communications