Program & Events
Lawns to Legumes
Are you concerned about the fate of pollinators, especially the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, Minnesota’s official state bee?
It’s time to get pro-active! Take advantage of this opportunity to take action to increase pollinator habitat in your own yard and help clean water at the same time by adding native plants with their long roots that slow erosion, conserve water and offer habitat, nectar and pollen to threatened pollinators and other wildlife! (photo above shot by Kathy Sidles, an East St. Paul bee monitor at a wetland south of Lake Phalen).
Attend a workshop sponsored by RWMWD and Maplewood Nature Center on February 20 if you’d like to increase habitat in your yard for this endangered bee and other pollinators and learn more! Thursday, February 20, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM, Lawns to Legumes: Your Yard Can Bee the Change, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Avenue East, Saint Paul, sponsored by RWMWD and Maplewood Nature Center. Register now for this free workshop by emailing Sage Passi at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you support your community’s efforts to restore habitat for pollinators?
The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has recently launched the Lawns to Legumes Program to increase habitat for at-risk pollinators across the state. This new Lawns to Legumes grant program https://bwsr.state.mn.us/l2l is made possible through an appropriation from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).
Blue Thumb, “Planting for Clean Water and Pollinators,” a program of Metro Blooms, is administering this Lawns to Legumes $350 residential grant program. All Minnesota residents are eligible to apply for a $350 cost-share grant to establish pollinator habitat in their yards. Applications will be selected through a randomized drawing, although priority will be given to projects within higher priority areas and to insure a fair geographical distribution of grantees. The Twin Cities metro area is, in general, a high priority area in the state, although there are several other high priority areas identified around the state of Minnesota. The Board of Water and Soil Resources is also administering a neighborhood demonstration grant program.
All March and most April Nature Center Public Programs have been cancelled:
In order to keep the public and employees safe from the COVID-19 The City of Maplewood has closed all public buildings through the end of March. This includes the nature center. Our public programs have been cancelled as well. The trails remain open for use. Staff are monitoring messages and taking phone calls. Thank you for your patience, please check the city of Maplewood webpage for more information.Nature programs are offered for adults, families and youth. These take place at the Nature Center, Neighborhood Preserves, local libraries, or other public venues. Many public programs are free, others have a small charge.
- Current Park and Recreation Brochure (PDF)
- Current Nature Center Public Programs - See nature center programs on City website calendar.
- Nature Center Calendar
Naturalists coordinate with other city departments on citywide environmental initiatives such as:
- Buckthorn removal
- Citizen Science Monitoring and more
- Edgerton Community Gardens
- Watershed Education
Discover and learn indoors and out! The nature center has two rooms that can hold one classroom each. The maximum number of participants recommended is 60 at a time. An ideal number is 30 students. The rate for groups is generally $4 per child, with no charge for adult chaperones.
- Birthday Parties: Meet one of our live animals, and go outside on a nature hike, led by a naturalist. You can also rent the Sunroom for your group to sing "Happy Birthday" and enjoy treats and gifts that you bring.
- Preschool: Bring out your preschool group for a nature program appropriate for ages 3 to 5 years old. Picnicking and playing in the outdoors is an option as well. Animal Puppet Shows are popular, as well as a variety of seasonal programs.
- School: We offer fantastic service learning opportunities and age-appropriate environmental education program offerings all year round.
- Scout/Youth: Participate in activities that satisfy badge requirements. Go on a night hike, call for owls, and learn about endangered species!
Schedule Your Group
Call Ann Hutchinson, Lead Naturalist, at 651-249-2172 to sign up to reserve the time and learn more details. Got a special program in mind that you don’t see listed here, or an adult group that wants a program? Please call to inquire or fill out our online Nature Center Programs Form.
Groups May Come on Their Own
Organized groups may come on their own. We do ask you to call the Nature Center at 651-249-2170 to reserve a time.
Examine our indoor and outdoor exhibits on your own for free. Explore the outdoor trails with one of our interpretive brochures:
- Play Yard Brochure (PDF)
- Self-Guiding Nature Trail Map (PDF)
- Waterworks Brochure (PDF)
- Self-guided Spring Nature Bingo Hike
- Self-guided Tree Quest
Touch and see, read and learn! Our exhibits engage the senses, and a variety of learning styles.
Self-Guided Educational Groups
Groups of 20 or more people may wish to reserve a time to explore inside in the exhibit and touch and see room. A fee of $50 fee will hold your spot for 40 minutes of exploration time inside. Please call 651-249-2170 at least two weeks in advance. This includes use of restrooms, picnic area, and play yard.
Groups should always call ahead to check availability. Scheduled paid groups receive priority in the exhibit room and play yard.