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

Ongoing | Eastman
Learn all about dragonflies and help us collect important dragonfly data!

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Go on an adventure with your child! Explore art, build forts, learn about dinosaurs and more!

Ongoing | Eastman
Learn about butterflies and dragonflies from Freddy the Fox or explore the world of bumblebees.

See all upcoming programs and events at Eastman!

Through social media, we're bringing the outdoors to you! Tune in to explore nature, meet farm animals, try new art projects and more.

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 57–59: Farming

Learn about agriculture in Minnesota from the past to the future. Hear from a Seneca Elder, learn about the origins of the dairy industry in the Midwest, and listen as Gale Woods Farm staff discuss the future of farming.

Related Blog Posts

July 13, 2020

Native woodland plants are disappearing from our forests. Learn what's causing this and how we're working to protect our forest understories.

June 15, 2020

Learn all about Minnesota's largest turtle, from the long list of things they eat to the huge number of eggs they can lay at once to what you can do to help protect them.

June 01, 2020

Foraging has become more popular as people are looking for local native plants to add to their diets for health and economic reasons. However, many public land agencies, including Three Rivers, have a variety of restrictions on foraging or collecting natural objects. Read on to learn why foraging isn't allowed in the parks and how you can help continue to protect natural resources.

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