In 2015, the Chicago Park District and City of Chicago dedicated Park #568 which is known as the West Ridge Natural Area. The 21-acre site lies at the northwest corner of Rosehill Cemetery. One of Chicago’s oldest burial grounds, Rosehill Cemetery was dedicated in 1859. Landscape gardener William Saunders, a national leader in the Rural Cemetery Movement, created Rosehill Cemetery’s original design which included curving drives, swaths of lawn, and several water features. Through the cemetery’s history, the area at the northwest corner included a pond. Until its recent conversion to parkland, however, the 21-acre site remained an undeveloped part of the cemetery that had never been used for burials. That heavily wooded corner had been used as a dumping ground for excess dirt and debris. After acquiring the site in 2011, the Chicago Park District hired Hitchcock Design Group to create a plan that combines ecological restoration goals with park enhancements. The improvements include a multi-purpose trail that loops throughout the park, boardwalks that cross over environmentally sensitive areas, removal of invasive plants, the addition of more than 500 native trees and shrubs, overlooks and fishing access points.
Park 568, also know as Rosehill or Westridge Natural Area is 20.5 acres of woodland, wetland and lagoon habitat. This natural area offers meandering pathways, boardwalks and fishing areas.