Nature Along the Lake
Since 2002, the CCYC has offered space to the Friends of the Parks’ Nature Along the Lake (NAL) program. NAL is a field trip program for Chicago Public School (CPS) elementary students grades 2-8. Thanks to this partnership, the Friends of the Parks is able to host classrooms at Montrose Point. Participants in NAL come to the lakefront 2 or 3 times in a year to learn about lakefront ecology in an outdoor setting, using nature as a classroom.
NAL uses the CCYC as their home base during field trips in the fall, winter and spring months. Generally, students participate in an indoor environmental lesson at the CCYC before exploring the 14-acre nature preserve at Montrose Point. They then regroup in the CCYC for lunch.
Since its start in 2002, NAL has grown significantly. During the 2006-2007 school year, the CCYC housed 75 field trips with over 900 CPS students from 12 Chicago Public
Schools. Moreover, to celebrate Earth Day in April 2007, about 260 students participated in Earth Week at the CCYC. During Earth Week, along with providing the facilities needed to support the two-day event, the CCYC donated 150 lunches for student participants to enjoy.
This year, 2007-2008, the CCYC continues to partner with the Friends of the Parks’ NAL program. Field trips started in late-September and will continue to May 15, 2008. For more information about Nature Along the Lake, visit the Friends of the Parks’ website (http://fotp.org/programs/enviroed/naturelake.asp).