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Edward L. Ryerson Welcome Center


Drinking Water
Public Parking

Related Sites
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area

Other Information
Green Building Strategies
Teachers and Youth Leaders
Volunteer at Ryerson Woods

Taking advantage of the latest advances and trends in environmentally-friendly construction and design, the Welcome Center employs a number of sustainable strategies, from materials choices to the use of natural light, geothermal heating and cooling, and recycled rainwater.

Platinum LEED Certified

Certified at the highest level by the U.S Green Building Council, this Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building offers both environmental and financial benefits over time. For example:

  • The total utility bill is a fraction of the cost of that of a standard building of the same size.
  • Because the water won’t puddle, we expect the porous asphalt parking lot to weather longer than standard paving.
  • The metal roof should last at least 50 years, unlike a shingled roof which typically lasts 15–20 years.
  • After just eight years, the geoexchange system will have paid for itself in energy savings.

Environmental Education

Serving as headquarters for our Environmental Education Services staff, a variety of public programs and field trips for school and scout groups are offered here throughout the year.

Making Waves

A seismic recording station is installed at Ryerson to help research scientists gain a better understanding of our earth’s structure and processes. It's one of 2,000 USArray stations installed across the country as part of the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope initiative. 

View recorded activity at the Ryerson station and learn about earthquakes at an information kiosk located in the Welcome Center, or online at Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

Welcome Center Hours

Tuesday–Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Restroom only, Mondays.

Closed in observance of the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Preserve Hours

The preserve is open from 6:30 am to sunset, daily.


The Welcome Center is located in the Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods. [View on Google maps]

The entrance is located on Riverwoods Road between Half Day Road (Route 22) and Deerfield Road, just west of the Interstate 94 Tollway. Follow signs to the Welcome Center.

Contact Information
Edward L. Ryerson Welcome Center
21950 N Riverwoods Rd
Riverwoods, IL 60015
847-968-3320 (phone)
847-367-6649 (fax)
Ryerson Woods Welcome Center image
Ryerson Woods Welcome Center
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Celebrate Halloween With Us
Preserve safety tips
Board approves 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan

Calendar of Events

Oct 29 Raptor in the Woods Photography
Nov 9 Ethel Untermyer Forum: Lake County in the Year 2114
    Ethel Untermyer Forum:Lake County in the Year 2114
  11 Scout Tuesday - Geologist Badge
  18 Hikin' Tykes - Turkeys

Exhibits and Activities

Ethel's Poet-Tree