Nature Education

Three Rivers is home to hundreds of species of animals indigenous to the native woods, prairies and wetlands. If you want to get up close and personal or learn a little more, try visiting one of the nature centers. Learn about the unique characteristics of different wildlife species, conduct your own science experiments or even pet a wild animal.

upcoming events

March 28 | Eastman Nature Center
Maple syruping ushers Minnesota from winter to spring. Learn how a changing climate is affecting our seasons and the traditions that connect us to our natural world. 

April 7 | Mississippi Gateway
Learn all about falconry, an ancient sport of using birds of prey to hunt! 

February-May | Lowry & Eastman
Come study wild song birds with us! See birds safely trapped and tagged, and learn about why we do it. 

Programs and Events

Upcoming nature education programs and events.

Learn about the outdoors

Our staff of naturalists is dedicated to sharing their knowledge and their love of nature, and to teaching the importance of environmental stewardship to visitors. Educational opportunities abound, from seasonal programs and events to customized group adventures.

Our Natural Resources division is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the health of the habitats and wildlife populations in our parks. Come explore on your own, or take part in one of our Naturalist-led classes. It’s a fun, hands-on learning experience for the whole family.

Summer camp registration is now open! Choose from camps on history, nature, science and more!

Nature School is an outdoor-based preschool program led by Three Rivers at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park for children ages 4-6. Registration for the 2020-2021 school year opens Feb. 3!

In Three Rivers, having fun doesn't have to cost a thing. From free parking to free activities to free programs and events, find your adventure!

Birding in the Parks

Hundreds of bird species have been spotted in Three Rivers parks. Use this checklist and observation guide to record your sightings!

Help out your favorite nature center by volunteering at summer camp, watching over the resident animals or being part of the Naturalist Youth Leader Program.

We rely on the support of volunteers to maintain the high-quality programs and operations at our nature centers. You can become an important part of this effort.

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 41–43: The Rivers That Shape Us

Tune in to learn how the Mississippi River was shaped, how humans have interacted with it throughout history, why it's important for migrating birds and more.

The Three Rivers Blog

February 17, 2020

Animal tracking is a great way to learn about animals — even without seeing them. Learn how to identify some common prints you may see on your next outdoor adventure as well as how scientists track animals to learn about their behaviors and lifecycles.

February 03, 2020

Around the Twin Cities, there is a woody vine that looks similar to one of our native vines — but is highly invasive. Read on to learn why oriental bittersweet is a problem, how to distinguish it from American bittersweet and what you can do to help.

January 27, 2020

On Feb. 2, we'll celebrate Groundhog Day hoping for indications of an early or late spring, depending on your feelings about winter. But how much do you really know about these mammals that can supposedly predict our weather patterns? Read on to learn all about groundhogs and where you can see them in Three Rivers Parks.

Other things to do

Art Education

Art Education

a woman making pottery on a wheel.

Silverwood Park offers nature-inspired art programs for children and adults.

Campground

Camping

Camping tent and fire

Fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wake up with the sunrise. Camping is the stuff memories are made of and at Three Rivers, you’ll find all the fun of camping without the long car trip. Campgrounds are located at Baker, Carver, and Cleary Lake

Educational Farming

Educational Farming

A white sheep covered in snow looks at the camera.

At Three Rivers, those who might not have an opportunity to see the ins and outs of a real working farm get a chance to learn where their food comes from, meet some animals and explore farm life at Gale Woods.

Geocaching

Geocaching

Two girls using a GPS unit

Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure.

History Education

History Exploration

a yellow brick farmhouse with a memorial boulder in front of it.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the people who lived here before us? Step back in time and discover their stories through the historic sites of the Grimm Farm, Noerenberg Gardens, the Historic Pierre Bottineau House, and The Landing. Evidence within the parks tells how people have lived, worked and played here for over 12,000 years.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

four people snowshoeing on a sunny day.

Three Rivers offers trails of varying difficulty for snowshoers of all skill levels. It’s a great way for the entire family to take in the scenes of a Minnesota winter.