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 newly reconstructed 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

Find a printable map of Eastman and other areas of the park on the Elm Creek Park Reserve page.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 17 | Eastman
Submit your outdoor photos to be displayed in an amateur photo show! Photos accepted through 5 PM on Nov. 17. Photos will be displayed and voted on at Eastman beginning Nov. 24. Winners in several categories will receive an award.

Dec. 6-8 | Eastman
Join Santa on a hunt for magical reindeer food! Make holiday and edible squirrel ornaments and enjoy refreshments. 

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
At Three Rivers preschool programs, kids explore nature through games, hikes, art, songs and other activities. Try a drop-off program or join the fun! 

See all upcoming programs and events at Eastman!

More about Eastman

Eastman Nature Center is named after Whitney H. Eastman, an avid birdwatcher and advocate of environmental education. The newly reconstructed building 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 cell phone audio stops, 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.

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.

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

Give to Eastman

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

Volunteering

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

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 32–34: Deer Management

Deer management plays an important role in maintaining healthy parks. Join Brandon and Angela as they explore how and why Three Rivers manages deer.

Related Blog Posts

November 04, 2019

Minnesota is home to seven species of bats, but they don't all approach winter the same way. Read on to learn how bats survive our coldest months of the year.

The Myths and Facts of Spiders

By: Monica Rauchwarter

October 07, 2019

Spiders are one of the most feared animals around, but they are important parts of their ecosystems. Learn all about these special creatures and find out the facts behind some of those myths that make them so scary.

September 16, 2019

American hazelnuts are easy to grow, cold-hardy, and offer many benefits to both humans and wildlife. Read on to learn all about this plant that grows throughout Minnesota. 

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