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

Dec. 26 & 27 | Silverwood
Learn how to save nature, build winter forts and fires, and fight off the cold!

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Enjoy nighttime adventures under the magic of a full moon. Experience the beauty of the parks at night and see which creatures come out to greet you.

Programs and Events

Upcoming nature education programs and events.

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.

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!

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!

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 35–37: Winter Strategies

Hear from experts on how animals in Minnesota survive our cold winters, and learn how you can better prepare for the cold. 

The Three Rivers Blog

Species Spotlight: Black Cherry

By: Paul Kortebein

November 18, 2019

Black cherry trees are known for their fruit and valuable, beautiful wood, but there's so much more to these common native trees. Learn how to identify them, which diseases and pests affect them, and how climate change will significantly impact their location in the state.

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.

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 white sheep covered in snow looks at the camera.

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.