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

Sept. 21 | Crow-Hassan
Celebrate the oldest and largest restored prairie in the Twin Cities! Meet at the Riverbend Group Camp to learn about prairie plants and insects, enjoy a wagon ride, and take a tour of the prairie with the hosts of The Wandering Naturalist podcast.

Sept. 28 | Lowry
Lowry Nature Center is 50! Celebrate the past, present and future with singing and dancing, a walk on a story trail, food and drinks, birthday cupcakes and more! 

October | Multiple Locations
Try cidering with an old-fashioned press, discover the history of cidering, learn to make your own hard cider, and more!

Programs and Events

Upcoming nature education programs and events.

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!

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.

Nature School is an outdoor-based preschool program led by Three Rivers at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park for children ages 4-6. 

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!

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 25–28: 50 Years of Environmental Stewardship

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lowry Nature Center and the prairie at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. Learn how Three Rivers has helped paved the way for environmental stewardship over the last 50-plus years.

The Three Rivers Blog

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. 

September 03, 2019

Friday is National Read a Book Day. To help you prepare, Mary Magers, bookseller at Minneapolis independent bookstore Magers & Quinn, agreed to share some of her favorite books about the natural world. From pollinators to weather to winter survival and more, read on to find your next page-turner.

August 26, 2019

Believe it or not, fall bird migration is already starting! From ospreys to owls to waterfowl, read all about what birds pass through our area of Minnesota and where in Three Rivers you can expect to see them. 

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.

Discover the history of maple syruping, the science behind sap production in sugar maple trees, and the methods for turning sap into syrup. 

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 blonde girl uses a blue watering can to water plants in a tunnel-style greenhouse.

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.