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A leader in nature exploration and education for 46 years the Nature Center offers outdoor experiences, as well as puppet and live animal programs for the classroom.

Pioneers Park Nature Center is a city-owned resource that offers the opportunity for outdoor observation, learning, and fun. The facility includes 668 acres of prairie, woodlands, ponds, stream, and wetlands; indoor and outdoor native animal exhibits; and two interpretive buildings.

The Nature Center offers an engaging selection of hands-on outdoor and outreach experiences for students, designed to enhance the classroom curriculum and support Nebraska Science Standards.

Our trained teacher/naturalists strive to develop awareness, appreciation, and curiosity about our unique Nebraska natural heritage by involving students in programs that are fun, concept oriented, and that allow ample opportunity for personal discovery.

Our staff looks forward to sharing the wonders of nature with you and your students both at the Nature Center and in your classroom.

Prairie Immersion

Prairie Immersion

Beginning in the fall of 2008, all Lincoln Public School 4th graders have had the opportunity to spend a full day in a tallgrass prairie. Funded by the Hugo A. and Thelma Aspegren Charitable Trust, the Prairie Immersion program is a cooperative venture of Lincoln Public School, Pioneers Park Nature Center and Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center. At the Nature Center this year 1215 students imagined early prairie travel by pulling a model of an Indian travois, created a covered wagon from hula hoops and a sheet, noted data about a small study area of prairie and spent quiet time alone amid the tall grass writing in their journals. They also discussed settler lives sitting within the Hudson cabin built in 1863, investigated bison parts and plants used by Plains Indians and early settlers, created a prairie food chain, and played predator/prey in the tall grass. This experience correlates with both science and social studies curricula, giving a new and meaningful extension to the classroom study of the prairie.

Excerpts from student journals:

Student Journal Illustration

The crickets are squeaking
The prairie is cold
The spiders are crawling
The prairie is quiet
The best place ever
-Student from Cavett

You can hear the bugs talking
Feel the wind in your hair
Tall grass crowded around you.
-Student from Calvert

I look at the grass taller than me.  If you sit down the little leaves tickle your back.
-Student from Maxey

Prairie feels like:
Itchy, rough, sticky, a whole new world.
Prairie sounds like:
Cracking leaves and rustling grass
Wind blowing; swishy
A buggy place
One special thing about prairie:
It is quiet and peaceful.
-various students

grass