About

Who We Are:

Nestled in 565 acres of woodlands, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods’s mission is to promote the importance of nature for nurturing personal and community well-being, cultivating creativity, and inspiring learning. Brushwood Center offers nature-inspired well-being and art programs for youth, families, professionals, and veterans.  We are a 501(c)(3) organization and operate in partnership with Lake County Forest Preserves, who owns and operates Ryerson Woods. Brushwood Center does not receive financial contributions from Lake County Forest Preserves and thus depends on the generosity of individual, foundation, and corporate support to make these programs possible.

Our Mission:

Located among pristine woodlands in the Ryerson historic home in Riverwoods, Il., Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods promotes the importance of nature for nurturing personal and community well-being, cultivating creativity, and inspiring learning. In doing so, we honor the legacy of those who came before us on this land and champion a region where people will care about and for nature.

Our History:

Brushwood Center was founded in 1984 to support the preservation of the woods and encourage people to connect to nature. Thanks to our new strategic plan, Brushwood Center has renewed its commitment to the arts and nature with an invigorated focus on community partnerships, inclusion, and promotion of art and nature for personal and community wellbeing. We actively focus our programs on veterans and low-income communities in Lake and Cook Counties.