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

Feb. 29 | All Parks
Celebrate winter with free rentals, day passes, lessons and more! Plus, discounted rates on tubing, downhill skiing and snowboarding.

March 28 | Eastman Nature Center
Maple syruping ushers Minnesota from winter to spring. Learn how a changing climate is affecting our seasons and the traditions that connect us to our natural world. 

April 9–11 | Multiple Locations
Hunt for hidden eggs along a wooded trail, meet live animals, dye your own eggs and more. Enjoy spring in Three Rivers Parks!

See all upcoming programs and events at Eastman!

Kids follow an instructor into a prairie.

Summer Camps

Find adventure this summer at a Three Rivers summer camp! Choose from camps on paddling, science, biking and more! See camps at Eastman or view all Three Rivers summer camps.

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 41–43: The Rivers That Shape Us

Tune in to learn how the Mississippi River was shaped, how humans have interacted with it throughout history, why it's important for migrating birds and more.

Related Blog Posts

January 27, 2020

On Feb. 2, we'll celebrate Groundhog Day hoping for indications of an early or late spring, depending on your feelings about winter. But how much do you really know about these mammals that can supposedly predict our weather patterns? Read on to learn all about groundhogs and where you can see them in Three Rivers Parks.

January 13, 2020

Snowy landscapes are incredibly dynamic and offer gorgeous scenery for winter photography. Take advantage of this beautiful season and see tips for shooting winter photos and learn how to stay warm while you're out there.

Our 7 Favorite Winter Activities

By: Ashley Smith Anders Hanson

December 23, 2019

We've compiled a list of our 7 favorite activities to help you embrace winter this season. Some of them might be things you've already done before, but a few of them might be new activities you want to try!

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