Heller Nature Center Trail Restoration Project
2821 Ridge Road

The Park District of Highland Park submitted a grant application in March for $200,000 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) to restore sections of Heller’s Red and Green Trails.

The Red Trail is Heller’s longest trail, offering visitors an opportunity to enjoy a 1.3-mile loop through the beautiful Heller property. The Green Trail is the central link for Heller’s 3-mile trail system. Currently, sections of the Red and Green Trails are eroded, narrow, and prone to flooding. The maintenance required is unsustainable and difficult to guarantee trail conditions.

The proposed restoration includes regrading, widening the path to 8ft., and adding new trail material. The goal of the proposed project is on the trail, enhance trail user experience, and restore reliable access to the program shelter and teams’ course. The route of the Red and Green Trails will not change as part of this restoration work.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Details:

    • The RTP grant program is offered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in partnership with the US Department of Transportation.

    • An RTP grant would cover up to 80% of the cost for recreational trail construction projects in natural settings.