Eastman Nature Center

Nestled in the sugar maple floodplain forest of Rush Creek, this is a great place to begin an outdoor journey. Walk across the floating boardwalk, explore the miles of hiking and snowshoeing trails for a bit of exercise or visit the nature center. Hop on the bike trails of Elm Creek Park Reserve or sit quietly and watch the creek flow by. Visitors may see trumpeter swans, wild turkey, bluebirds, dragonflies and abundant native wildflowers.

Elm Creek PDF Maps

Upcoming Events

Nov. 26 | All Parks
This Black Friday, skip shopping and go exploring instead. Join one of our programs, or find your own adventure outside!

Dec. 10-12 | Eastman
Join Santa on a hunt for magical reindeer food! Learn about reindeer and their deer cousins along the way.

All Programs & Events

See all upcoming programs and events at Eastman. 

Nearly all of our program offerings can be adapted or modified. Please call 763-559-9000 (for relay services dial 711) or email access@ThreeRiversParks.org to request free modifications and learn about available options. 

Discover the world of birding in the Young Birders Club! Learn all about native birds, and attend programs and events at nature centers in Three Rivers. Open to ages 9-12.

More About Eastman

Eastman Nature Center is named after Whitney H. Eastman, an avid birdwatcher and advocate of environmental education. The nature center has something for everyone. Floor-to-ceiling windows entice visitors to do some indoor birdwatching. (Use this checklist and guide to record your observations!) Children enjoy hands-on activities, dressing up in costumes and putting on a puppet show in our puppet tree. Live reptiles and amphibians add to the rotating interpretive displays throughout the building. The building also has a quiet reading room, a screened in and open air deck, large classrooms and an after-hours restroom. 

Opportunities to enhance your experience along the trails are available through trail guide sheets, exploration kits and interpretive signs. Just down the trail, let your children play "wild" in the nature exploration area. Kids can dig, climb, make a fort or dam and engage their imaginations, while adults play along or observe nearby.

Groups

The professional naturalists at Eastman Nature Center offer outdoor education programs for schools, scout troops, senior centers, homeschools and other organized groups.

Snowshoe Rentals

2021-2022 Season: Equipment rental reservations are required to guarantee availability on your preferred day/time. Reservations can be made online or over the phone by calling 763-559-6700. Snowshoes can be reserved from seven days in advance to 2 hours prior, as snow conditions allow. Availability may vary between locations and walk-up rentals are very limited.

Rooms in the Eastman Nature Center can be rented to host meetings, retreats, family gatherings, birthdays, small weddings and receptions, and other events.

Wild Birthday Parties are offered year-round and are appropriate for children age four and older. Nature-based topics range from pond insects to birds, and snowshoeing to live animals. 

Join other teens in the Naturalist Youth Leader Program or help care for the animals that live at Eastman. Three Rivers offers several volunteer and internship opportunities in the parks.

Volunteering

We rely on the support of volunteers to maintain the high quality programs and operations at our nature centers.

Give to Eastman

Love Eastman Nature Center? Consider supporting its outdoor education programs, displays and animal care with a donation

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 105-107: Neighbors

In this series about different immigrant neighbors in Minnesota, learn why Swiss immigrants gravitated to land that is now Elm Creek Park Reserve; hear from Professor Dalma Martinovic about the difference between parks in Minnesota and her home country of Croatia; and how Dr. Raul Velasquez's connections to the land influenced his choice to immigrate to Minnesota from Colombia.

Related Blog Posts

Pathways Into the Parks

By: Harshita Somani

August 10, 2021

The Pathways Internship program introduces teenagers to various roles throughout Three Rivers Park District, giving them an opportunity to explore different career paths. Follow along with Harshita Somani, the 2021 marketing intern, as she relays her experience in the program this summer.

June 28, 2021

Since 1988, Gene Lau has given more than 10,000 hours of his time to Three Rivers — more than any other volunteer we've had. Learn all about Gene's volunteer roles, why he enjoys it and how he ended up contributing so much time. 

Phenology: Nature's Calendar

By: Ashley Smith

March 22, 2021

American robins, red-winged blackbirds, the call of wood frogs — signs of spring are upon us and we are taking note! Learn what it means to notice these changes of the season and how phenology helps local and global communities.

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