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
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
SeriesWed, Mar 2 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Beavers

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Mar 5 • 10:30 am
Free

Who’s Scat is That?

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

Yoga in Winter

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesThu, Mar 10 • 10 AM
Free

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

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
web-logos-birdthepreserves
#BirdThePreservesSat, Mar 12 • 9 AM
Free

Birding Trip in Palos Preserves

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesSat, Mar 12 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sun, Mar 13 • 1:30 pm
Free

Animal Afternoons

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesWed, Mar 16 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Foxes

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Mar 19 • 10 AM
Free

Natural Egg Dyeing Made Easy

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Fri, Mar 25 • 7 PM
Free

Salamanders in the Spotlight

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Mar 26 • 9 AM
Free

Chicago Portage – One of Two National History Sites in Illinois

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
April 2016
Fri, Apr 1 • 7 PM
Free

Frog Monitoring

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 2 • 10 AM
Free

Mud Puddles

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesWed, Apr 6 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Tree Frogs

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesSat, Apr 9 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sun, Apr 10 • 1:30 pm
Free

Animal Afternoon

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesThu, Apr 14 • 10 AM
Free

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

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 16 • 10:30 am
Free

Blooms and Blossoms

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 16 • 7 PM
Free

Night Sky Program

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesWed, Apr 20 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Herons

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 23 • 1:30 pm
Free

Primitive Plants

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 30 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 30 • 9 AM
Free

Chicago Portage – One of Two Historical Sites in Illinois

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, Apr 30 • 1 PM
Free

Snake Identification Workshop

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
May 2016
SeriesWed, May 4 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me: Nests

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

The Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 7 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sun, May 8 • 1:30 pm
Free

Animal Afternoon

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 14 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesSat, May 14 • 10 AM
Free

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

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesSat, May 14 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 14 • 7:30 pm
Free

Night Sky Program

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
SeriesWed, May 18 • 10:30 am
Free

Mother, Nature and Me

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Fri, May 20 • 8 PM
Free

Frog Monitoring

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 21 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 21 • 1:30 pm
Free

Spring Constellation Mythology

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 28 • 9 AM
Free

Chicago Portage – One of Two National Historic Sites in Illinois

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Sat, May 28 • 1:30 pm
Free

Mycorrhizal Fungi

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