Nature Center’s Goal is to Educate & Empower
Enhance awareness and understanding of the land, water, and wildlife resources; empower the community to become stewards of the environment.
Maplewood Nature Center is 1 of 35 parks owned and operated by the City of Maplewood. This free city park is a premier nature destination close to home and a great place to visit! The nature center receives up to 15,000 visitors per year.
Coordination & Cooperation
Professional naturalists coordinate and conduct environmental education programs at the Nature Center and Neighborhood Preserves, in schools, and throughout the city. In addition, Naturalists work closely with other city departments on citywide environmental initiatives.
Trail and building maintenance at the nature center are supported by the city’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments.
The Nature Center participates in Sustainability Projects for the City of Maplewood, including Sustainable Maplewood Project 2050, the Environmental Insert for the city’s newsletter, and Maplewood’s City Staff ’Green Team.’
Links & Resources
Nature Center Beginnings
The Maplewood Nature Center is owned and operated by the City of Maplewood. Nature center operations are funded by general tax dollars.
Original funding for Maplewood Nature Center was through a Federal Land and Water Conservation (LAWCON) grant obtained by Community Services director, Eric Blank. This grant paid for site clean-up and fencing. In 1977 to 1978, signs, bridges, and benches were installed along the trails, and the Visitor Center was built. Naturalists Megan Gange, James McKee, and Chris Soutter developed and conducted the first school curriculum and public programs, which continue to the present day.
A timeline is included in Nature Center Site History.