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

Free Family Fun Days

Ongoing | Richardson & Mississippi Gateway
Explore nature through hands-on activities! 

All Programs & Events

See all upcoming nature education programs and events.

Nearly all of our program offerings can be adapted or modified. Please call 763-559-9000 (for relay services dial 711) or email access@ThreeRiversParks.org to request specific services or to discuss options.

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.

Birding Checklist

Hundreds of bird species have been spotted in Three Rivers parks. Use this checklist and observation guide to record your sightings!

Discover the world of birding in the Young Birders Club! Learn all about native birds, and attend programs and events at nature centers in Three Rivers. Open to ages 9-12.

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

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

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!

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 102-104: Fear of Nature

Get a European historical perspective on the fear of wilderness; listen to a discussion about what animals, if any, you might fear in parks (and how to stay safe); and learn how you can address fears that show up when trying new recreational activities.

The Three Rivers Blog

August 16, 2021

From securing permits to making sure habitat is just right, a lot of work goes into bringing new butterflies into our parks. Learn all about the process of reintroducing butterflies, our past successes and which butterflies we hope to introduce into our parks in the future.

July 12, 2021

Understanding how our bumblebee populations are changing and why helps us determine how we can best support them. Read on to learn all about how we conduct bumblebee surveys in our parks and what you can do to help collect valuable bumblebee data. 

May 17, 2021

Three Rivers is home to more than 100 different nesting birds. From tree nesters to wetland dwellers, learn where and how some of these birds build their nests. 

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. Please note: Snowshoeing is not permitted on cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.

New This Season: Snowshoe rentals require advanced reservations. Availability will vary by location.