Richardson Nature Center

Located within Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Richardson Nature Center is a gateway to stunning natural beauty just minutes from the city. Inside, colorful clay mosaics and sculptures by artist Chris Tully engage visitors with the natural world. Visitors can also meet Richardson’s resident raptors, reptiles, and amphibians up close.

Hyland PDF Maps

Find printable maps of Richardson and other areas of Hyland on the Hyland Lake Park Reserve page.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Explore nature on a guided hike. Hike when the sun is up, or join a nighttime adventure!

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

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
At Three Rivers preschool programs, kids explore nature through games, hikes, art, songs and other activities. Try a drop-off program or join the fun! 

All Programs and Events

Take a guided walk under the full moon, get fit outdoors with the GreenFit Club, take part in a Free Family Fun Day, or browse other programs and events offered at Richardson Nature Center.

More About Richardson

Richardson Nature Center interiorIndoors

Upstairs, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of backyard wildlife and an active bee hive. The building has several rooms, an amphitheater, and an outdoor fire ring available for rent. There are also a variety of free resources available for anyone to use: bird watching backpacks, pond exploration kits, bug kits, frog kits, and Nordic walking poles.

Outdoors

The interpretive area surrounding the building features hiking trails that weave between the diverse habitats of restored prairie, oak forests, and wetlands. Along the trails, visitors might spot deer, fox, coyote, muskrats, and turkeys. Many species of birds are observed in the area seasonally, including nesting pairs of ospreys and trumpeter swans. Trail guides, exploration kits and interpretive signs are available throughout the park.

The Nature Exploration Area encourages free play in the outdoors. Children can explore, climb, dig and build a fort while adults play along or observe nearby.

Solar Energy

A photovoltaic (PV) system on Richardson’s roof gathers energy from the sun and converts it into electricity, directly offsetting 40 to 50 percent of the building’s need for electricity from the grid. The Center also offers Solar Energy education programs. View a dashboard showing solar generation at Richardson Nature Center.

Take A Virtual Tour

Equipment Rental

A variety of equipment is available for rent during business hours, including Nordic walking poles, nature exploration kits, all-terrain wheelchairs, snowshoes, kick sleds, and downhill sleds. See pricing.

Parking

Parking is free for personal vehicles. Daily parking fees apply to commercial vehicles, buses, or vans. Reservations for commercial vehicles must be made at least two weeks in advance by calling 763.559.6700.

group of children at apple cidering event

Groups & rental spaces

Groups

Richardson Nature Center is home to a world of nature education for groups of all ages and sizes. With a wide range of programs to choose from, or the ability to create your own program, there are endless opportunities at Richardson.

Rental Spaces

Rent a space and host your next meeting, retreat, family gathering or other event at Richardson Nature Center.

Volunteering

Three Rivers relies on the support of volunteers to maintain the high quality programs and operations at the nature centers.

Give to Richardson

Love Richardson Nature Center? Help improve displays, support outdoor education programs and care for animals with a donation.

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.

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 66-68: Spiders

Learn all about spiders, their webs and even their brains! Listen in as we clear up myths about spiders, and learn how you can help with spider research.

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.

July 27, 2020

Cottonwood trees may be best known for making it look like it's snowing in June, but there's more to these giants than their annual seed dispersal. Read on to learn all about these native trees and how they fit into Minnesota's environment.

Similar Areas

Lowry Nature Center

7025 Victoria Dr.
Victoria, MN 55386
763.694.7650

Eastman Nature Center

13351 Elm Creek Road
Dayton, MN 55369
763.694.7700

Mississippi Gateway Visitor Center

10360 West River Road
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
763.694.7790