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Even before Wonder Works Children's Museum opened, we have been concerned about the environment and our impact on the planet.

Former Board President Nevin Hedlund, who served as pro bono architect on the museum's construction, specified numerous earth-friendly materials and products, including:

-Low-flow toilets, which save water
-Low-VOC paint, which uses fewer chemicals and is nearly odor-free when applied
-Carpet tiles from Interface, which enable us to replace individual squares instead of an entire room of flooring material

We have held Earth Day celebrations in conjunction with Seven Generations Ahead (SGA), working to teach children and families about being better stewards for the planet. SGA, an Oak Park-based non-profit that works to create eco-effective communities, helped us plant our first organic garden in 2007. Children and families are encouraged to help us plant, tend and harvest the garden throughout the growing season. Supporters fund the Organic Garden through small fundraisers and donations of goods and services. This support provides the resources needed to continue the garden and improve it every year. For more information on the Wonder Works' Organic Garden, please visit our garden page.

We are continually looking to minimize our environmental impact, including :

-Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which save considerable energy, and their long lives mean less waste.
-Switching to zero-VOC paint from low-VOC paints
-Using recycled products whenever feasible
-Using environmentally friendly cleaners and disinfectants
-Using salt alternatives in the winter, which minimizes salt damage to plants and animals in the area

If you can help us do better, tell us about it. We are always looking for ways to improve.

And while some complain about our lack of parking at Wonder Works, we have found that many people enjoy walking or riding bikes to the museum, a practice that promotes individual health and a healthy planet.

To learn more about how you can be a part of the solution, try the following resources. This is a list we hope to continue adding to, so send us an email with suggestions to