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.
All Programs & 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 Richardson
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.
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.
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.
A variety of equipment is available for rent during business hours, including Nordic walking poles, nature exploration kits, all-terrain wheelchairs and 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 are free to reserve during business hours; to check them out, an adult must sign a waiver.
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.
Groups & Rental Spaces
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.
Rent a space and host your next meeting, retreat, family gathering or other event at Richardson Nature Center.
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.
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.