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

Richardson Nature Center Summer | Richardson Nature Center Winter

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

All Programs & 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 all programs and events offered at Richardson Nature Center.

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

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.

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.

Equipment Rental

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

Snowshoes

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

Sleds are free to reserve during business hours; to check them out, an adult must sign a waiver.

Kicksleds

Kicksleds are available to reserve online during open rink times. See current open rink times to reserve your kicksled or read our blog to learn more about kicksledding!

Virtual Tour

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.

Wild Birthday Parties are offered year-round and are appropriate for children age 4 and older. Nature-based topics range from pond insects to birds, and snowshoeing to live animals.

Give to Richardson

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

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 105-107: Neighbors

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

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.

December 09, 2020

In Minnesota, we stop seeing and hearing insects as winter settles in. Find out where they've gone and how they survive our coldest season.

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