Lowry Nature Center
Lowry Nature Center, the first public nature center built in the Twin Cities, is a beautiful, prairie-style building nestled in the middle of Carver Park Reserve. View seasonal interpretive displays, visit live animals, observe birds in the wildlife viewing area, or relax near the fireplace or on the deck.
All Programs & Events
Take a guided walk under the full moon, learn about birding or find something else that interests you in one of Lowry's many outdoor learning 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 free modifications and learn about available options. Learn more about accessibility at Three Rivers.
More About Lowry Nature Center
Outside Lowry Nature Center, the 250-acre interpretive area features hiking trails that weave between diverse habitats such as lakes, tamarack bogs, cattail marshes and hardwood forests. Along the trails, you might spot some of the varied wildlife that live in the park, including beaver, deer, fox, coyote, muskrats, bats and turkeys. Some 250 species of birds can be observed in Carver Park Reserve seasonally. Opportunities to enhance your experience at the park are available through trail guides, exploration kits and interpretive signs.
The interpretive area also includes a play area (open seasonally April–October) and an exploration area. The Nature Exploration Area was created specifically to encourage free play in the outdoors. Children can explore, dig and build while adults play along or observe nearby.
Looking to get the wiggles out on a wintery day? Just a short jaunt outside of the entrance to the nature center you’ll find an exciting sliding hill, or try kick sledding on a nearby pond.
Habitats Play Area To Be Removed
After 30 years, the Habitats play area will be removed this spring. While it has been loved and enjoyed by many, its current condition poses safety and repair concerns. The area will re-open as space for exploration, play and learning later this year. The long-term plan for the area will be developed during the park’s master plan process.
2021-2022 Season: Equipment rental reservations are required to guarantee availability on your preferred day/time. Reservations can be made online or over the phone by calling 763-559-6700. Snowshoes can be reserved from seven days in advance to 2 hours prior, as snow conditions allow. Availability may vary between locations and walk-up rentals are very limited.
Sleds are free to reserve during business hours; to check them out, an adult must sign a waiver.
Check out an Explorer Backpack and embark on your own adventure at the Lowry Nature Center! Each backpack comes with tools to investigate a specific topic while on the trails. Topics include Trees, Birds, Frogs, Insects and Pond Exploration.
Explorer Backpacks are available on a first-come, first-served basis Monday-Saturday from 9 AM–4PM and Sundays 12–4 PM. Some topics may not be available as each backpack will only be rented once every 72 hours to allow for sanitizing. Call 763-694-7650 prior to your arrival or when you arrive for availability. Backpacks are free and appropriate for all ages. They must be returned at the end of your visit.
The professional naturalists at Lowry Nature Center can customize outdoor education programs for your school, scout troop, senior center, homeschool or other organized group.
Host your next meeting, retreat, family gathering or other event in a space at Lowry Nature Center.
Give to Lowry
Love Lowry Nature Center? Consider donating to support outdoor education programs, animal care and display improvement.
Three Rivers relies on the support of volunteers to maintain the high-quality programs and operations at the nature centers.
The Wandering Naturalist
In this series about different immigrant neighbors in Minnesota, learn why Swiss immigrants gravitated to land that is now Elm Creek Park Reserve; hear from Professor Dalma Martinovic about the difference between parks in Minnesota and her home country of Croatia; and how Dr. Raul Velasquez's connections to the land influenced his choice to immigrate to Minnesota from Colombia.
The Three Rivers Blog
By: Ashley Smith
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.
By: Elaine Tucker
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.