Four Rivers Environmental Education Center

Channahon, IL

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove is positioned near the intersection of the Des Plaines, DuPage, and Kankakee Rivers, which meet to form the Illinois River. The structure is a model example of green architecture and construction. It requires specialized knowledge of mechanical systems and building materials that minimize harmful effects on human health and the environment.

GAC was responsible for repurposing the existing site and fireplace, including constructing the new visitor center, which featured geothermal heat and air conditioning, a water conservation well, and energy-saving technologies. A green roof system was installed as a natural insulation, reducing energy costs by absorbing solar heat. Sustainable building materials included millwork using a wheat board and recycled milk jugs. The scope of work involved the construction of additional parking areas, outdoor pavilions with concrete flooring, ADA-compliant toilet facilities, and walking trails.


Client: Forest Preserve District of Will County
Architect: Partners & Sirny LLP
Industry: Education