Program & Events
Professional Naturalists conduct a variety of programs for all ages. Our aim is to provide opportunities for hands on interactive learning in the out-of-doors. Most programs start in the Visitor Center, then go outside for the majority of the nature experience. Programs take place year round in all kinds of weather.
You can participate as an individual or family, on your own (self-guided). Organized groups such as a school, preschool, church or scout group can schedule a time with Ann Hutchinson, Lead Naturalist. Scroll down to learn more.
Studies show being outdoors in nature can increase learning, and reduce stress. We'd love to see your footprints at the nature center! Plan your visit today!
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.
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:
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.