Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

Connect with the historic past of the Palos Hills at The Little Red Schoolhouse (LRSH). In 1886 the present building, originally located on the Black Oak Trail at old 99th Street, replaced a log cabin school.

 

Now hikers enjoy country lanes once used by its student. In 1932 the school house was moved to Camp Kiwanis by a local resident, using only one mule and log rollers. Classes continued there until 1948. In 1952 it was moved to its present site, and in 1955 reopened as a unique, new kind of school. In place of the three R’s, fascinating stories are told to children and grown-ups who visit here, stories about forest preserve plants and animals and the earth of which they live.

 

Fifty years ago Longjohn Slough was a wet prairie where farmers cut wild hay. Some farmers hauled hay to feed Chicago’s horses a round trip of about 10 hours! Old timers remember hunting rabbits in a hollow that is now Maple Lake, and one resident made a living just hunting and trapping. The land on which the schoolhouse now stands was a fruit orchard planted in 1906. Visitors in the spring still enjoy its pear, apple and plum blossoms.

 

In 2010 a new visitor center with additional live animals and exhibits, children’s activity room, and more joined the old school.
History of LRSH » LRSH on Facebook »

9800 Willow Springs Rd
Willow Springs, IL 60480

708-839-6897

Hours: December – February
Building 9 am – 3:30 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 3:30 pm
Hours: March – May
Building 9 am – 4:30 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 4:30 pm
Hours: June – August
Building Mon-Thu: 9 am – 6 pm
Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 9 am – 5 pm
Grounds Mon-Fri: 8 am – 6 pm
Sat-Sun: 8 am – 5 pm
Hours: September – November
Building 9 am – 5 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 5 pm

Closed:
Thanksgiving, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

Events List Navigation

February 2016
SeriesThu, Feb 11 • 10 AM
Free

S.E.N.I.O.R.S.

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Feb 13 • 6:30 pm
$10

Sweetheart Night Hike

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesWed, Feb 17 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Stars

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesSat, Feb 20 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sun, Feb 21 • 10 AM
Free

Yoga in Winter

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Feb 27 • 9 AM
Free

Chicago Portage – National Historic Site

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sun, Feb 28 • 1:30 pm
Free

Animal Encounter

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
March 2016
Sun, Mar 6 • 10 AM
Free

Yoga in Winter

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
May 2016
bit sit2016
#BirdThePreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
+ Export Listed Events
Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County