Mon, July 15 at 8am – 

Due to the excessive rain:

  • Sunset Woods Park and Sunset Valley Golf Club are closed.
  • Portions of the paths at The Preserve of Highland Park and Larry Fink Park are flooded.
A New Face at Heller Nature Center

April 2, 2024

You may see a new face leading your next program at Heller Nature Center!

We’re excited to welcome a new Naturalist Teacher, Kerrick Goodman-Lucker, to our team. Kerrick has a passion for teaching about the outdoors and is excited to work with the local community. Get to know Kerrick with a quick Q&A––and be sure to say hello if you see him on the trails or teaching a program at Heller and Rosewood Beach!

Where are you from?

I was born in Florida, moved to California to get a graduate degree in Museum Education, lived there for 13 years, and then moved to Illinois in 2019. Yes, I am liking the snow quite well, thank you.

What brought you to the Park District of Highland Park?

I was a classroom teacher until 2021, when I switched to curriculum development. I came to miss being outside in nature, talking to humans not on a screen, and leaving my house ever. Heller Nature Center is a beautiful, peaceful outdoor setting, and my work encourages me to get out and walk and talk to more nature lovers. What’s not to love?

What is something few people know about you?

Three truths and no lies: I used to ride horses when I was a kid (English pleasure and beginning hunter-jumper). I spent a year interning on a farm where I learned to build stuff out of mud and straw and took care of goats and chickens. I love almost all animals, but I am deeply afraid of leeches. Bonus: I used to teach tai chi and pentjak silat.

What is your dream trip?

I have visited Ireland and Scotland, and also New Zealand and Australia. I would love to go back to any of those beautiful places. One day I want to visit the cloud forests of Costa Rica.

What’s your favorite season?

My favorite season is fall. When I was a kid in Florida, I used to think snow was imaginary. I sort of had the sense that somewhere fall happened and it must be really pretty, so I would collect dead leaves and acorns from under the live oaks in our 85 degree September days and make little “fall” displays. 

What is your favorite thing about Heller so far?

I wish more people knew about some of our really quirky, creative programs at HNC! Spread the word! We’re not all teams courses and sedate nature walks over here!

Kerrick Goodman-Lucker, Naturalist Teacher
Learning the Ropes: Kerrick leading his first of many crate climbing programs.