Explore Whistler Woods and Wampum Lake
The new edition of Inside, Out & About takes you on a journey to Whistler Woods, a magical haven for migratory birds and Monarch butterflies, in south suburban Riverdale. The 137-acre forest preserve along the Little Calumet River is an excellent site to explore the historic Major Taylor Trail named for Marshall “Major” Taylor, who was an African-American bicycle racer and civil rights advocate born in 1878. Taylor was one of the first African-American athletes to become a world champion in any sport. He was known for many years as the fastest bicycle rider in the world.
In 2017, Chicago artist Bernard Williams painted a 400-foot mural on the bridge over the Little Calumet at Whistler Woods to honor Taylor’s legacy. The mural panels include dates of Taylor’s championships, names of cities where he raced, and visual representations of the cyclist. The story starts on the north end of the bridge.
Our Inside, Out & About online resources include an in-depth look at natural sites, featuring their history, wildlife, family activities, community connections, and wellness. By promoting the use of natural areas, Inside, Out & About encourages stewardship, and helps people understand that being outside in nature is good for physical and emotional health. The online programs and resources are also available in Spanish.
In addition, don’t miss the journey to Wampum Lake on Friends’ Inside, Out & About podcast featuring Kim Roman, a natural areas preservation specialist for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and Maggie Jones, Friends’ conservation programs manager. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission is working statewide to preserve and protect high quality remnant natural landscapes and, among other projects, Jones leads Friends’ turtle nesting habitat projects that contribute to the effort.