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

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Discover the outdoors with your preschooler!

October | Multiple Locations
Try cidering with an old-fashioned press, discover the history of cidering and more!

All Programs and Events

See all upcoming nature education programs and events.

Nature Centers Closed

Nature centers and program centers are closed to the general public to accommodate summer camp and programming needs. See all of our operational updates.

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

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 Mississippi Gateway Regional Park for children ages 4-6. Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is open!

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 63–65: Fungi

Learn how fungi function, which fungi are causing problems in our parks, and how to grow your own edible mushrooms.

The Three Rivers Blog

September 02, 2020

This year has presented unique challenges for educators around the world. Learn how one of our environmental educators adapted to teaching in the pandemic and what new strategies she used to benefit her students.

August 24, 2020

The most used bird migration path in North America passes right through the heart of the Twin Cities. Learn about the Mississippi Flyway, where to look for birds, and how you can help protect these migrators.

August 10, 2020

Canada geese are in no short supply today, but it wasn't always this way. Read on to learn how they came to be so plentiful after once being rare to see in the metro area.

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 young girl waters plants in a 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.