The Nature Center opened its doors in 2013 and acts as the centerpiece of Wetlands Park. The 10,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall at the Nature Center features interactive displays, dioramas, artwork and activities that bring the habitats and wildlife of the park, as well as its history to life.
Audio tours of the Exhibit Hall are available at the front desk. Families interested in exploring the trails can borrow a Family Backpack from the Exhibit Hall front desk.
The Auditorium offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy a variety of themed movies about the Park and the adjacent Meeting Room can be reserved by corporate groups as well as community and non-profit groups for meetings and events.
The Indoor Picnic Café is a great place for visitors to enjoy amazing views of the Nature Preserve while enjoying a picnic lunch in a climate-controlled area. There is no food service at this location, so bring your own baskets and coolers. This serves as the only approved area in the Nature Preserve to picnic. Click here for Picnic Café Rules. Outdoor picnic areas are available elsewhere in the Park at the Duck Creek, Pabco, and Wells Trailheads, as well as at Neighborhood Park.
The Administration wing includes offices for staff and volunteers, restrooms, and classrooms. Currently, there is no gift shop or vending available at the Nature Center, but there are plans for a store in the future.
The Wetlands Park Nature Center was awarded LEED Gold in April 2015, reflecting excellence in sustainable design. The building features passive solar heating and photovoltaic electrical panels, as well water smart fixtures and as some recycled building material.