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 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

Nature Center Without Walls

April 24 & 25 | Nature Centers
This spring, we are turning the nature centers inside out! Each weekend features different outdoor activities that may include meeting live animals, participating in nature challenges and checking out free exploration materials.

All Programs and Events

More about Eastman

Eastman Nature Center is named after Whitney H. Eastman, an avid birdwatcher and advocate of environmental education. The nature center 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.

Snowshoe Rentals

New for the 2020-21 season: Snowshoes can be reserved from Eastman up to seven days in advance as snow conditions allow. Reserve your snowshoes online or over the phone by calling 763.559.6700. Advanced reservations are required. 

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 83-85: Adapted Nature

At Three Rivers, we want everybody, of any ability, to participate in our programs and enjoy experiences outdoors. Learn about our adapted programming, our partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota, and how we make our parks accessible.

Related Blog Posts

Phenology: Nature's Calendar

By: Ashley Smith

March 22, 2021

American robins, red-winged blackbirds, the call of wood frogs — signs of spring are upon us and we are taking note! Learn what it means to notice these changes of the season and how phenology helps local and global communities.

February 03, 2021

Watch a video to learn about the elusive mating ritual of the American woodcock and get tips on how you can experience this seasonal display of courtship this spring.

January 13, 2021

With over 100 miles of winter hiking trails, we've got you covered for your next outdoor adventure! Read on to see some of our favorite short, mid-length and long hikes in Three Rivers.

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