Join the FRIENDS of Thorn Creek Woods and make a big difference

Formed in 1969, FRIENDS act as advocates, build trails, create displays, lead groups, clean the nature center, trails, and preserve, collect data, monitor species, patrol boundaries, answer phones, assist with programs, and much, much more.
     FRIENDS volunteers make Thorn Creek Woods a symbol of people living in harmony with nature, enriching their own lives and passing on to their children a priceless heritage.
     Volunteer and make a big difference. Join FRIENDS today. 



Contact information for Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve, Nature Center, and FRIENDS of Thorn Creek Woods

All questions and suggestions should be directed to:

Phone: 708-747-6320 (if you leave a message; be sure to include your phone number)


US Mail: Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest, IL 60466

He’ll be greatly missed

Jon Eric Mendelson died Nov. 22, 2014 at home, peacefully, surrounded by family. He was Emeritus Professor of Environmental Biology at Governors State University, Chair of Thorn Creek Nature Preserve Management Commission, field ecologist, land preservationist, musician, beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and friend. He worked tirelessly to acquire land for Thorn Creek Woods and to protect local watersheds, taught courses in ecology to generations of students, played blues and folk with the Moose River Band, grew garlic for Thorn Creek’s Garlic Fest, and fashioned mobiles out of gourds for his grandchildren.

   Donations may be made in his name to the Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, P.O. Box 1589, Richton Park, IL 60471.

image002There will be a memorial celebration in Jon’s honor at a later date. If you wish to send cards or letters to Judy and the family: Judy Mendelson and Family, 24300 Western Avenue, Park Forest, IL 60466,


Prairie Chapelul
“Prairie Chapel”

The perfect winter gift giving present for art lovers and for nature lovers is now available. Inspired by the Thorn Creek Nature Center, “Prairie Chapel”, is an original graphite drawing by local artist Marikay Peter Witlock. Through a generous donation by the artist, the “Prairie Chapel“ print is available with a donation to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods of $75 or more. 100% of donated dollars will benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve.
     The “Prairie Chapel” print is a limited edition of 300 signed and numbered prints, with image size of 13” x 17” and finished size of 18” x 21”. It is printed on acid free 80 lb. paper. Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. Donations to Friends, over the value of the Prairie Chapel print (valued at $75) are tax-deductible.
     To view a framed “Prairie Chapel” print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information about “Prairie Chapel” or to register for Woodland Carols, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, 708-747-6320 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Help the Woods by shopping online at

This is a great way - year-round - to help support Thorn Creek Woods. Whenever you shop online do it at After you register with AmazonSmile – Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Support Friends of Thorn Creek Woods by starting your shopping at 


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