History Podcasts

Oak Grove Nature Center

Oak Grove Nature Center

The San Joaquin County Oak Grove Nature Center is located in the Oak Grove Regional Park, between Stockton and Lodi, 4520 West Eight Mile Road, Stockton, California. The nature center is preserved and exhibited by the San Joaquin County administration, which is undergoing major renovation works, as of this writing.The Oak Grove Nature Center is famous for its exquisite beauty and special features. Paddleboats are a big favorite for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and surrounding area.The nature center primarily focuses on local wildlife, their native habitats, and the early residents of the grove, specifically the Miwok and Yokuts tribes.The flora and fauna of this area is preserved mainly in two trails namely, the Yokuts Trail and the Miwok Trail. The former has a wide range of native plants and animals such as wild Geranium, Elderberry, Scrub Jays or Kestrels.The latter has an extensive array of oaks dating back centuries. The Miwok Trail also has a collection of native animals including Western Fence Lizards, Red-tailed Hawks, and Acorn Woodpeckers.The trees in the area are affected by a common growth called galls. It is also found in other trees like willow and poplar.The center organizes a new program to maintain the lost glory of the area by planting oak tree saplings and providing support to the surrounding grounds by keeping everything watered and healthy.The Nature Play Area located west of the Activity Center, invites children to get involved in the preservation of the natural habitat.The Oak Grove Nature Center offers many learning activities during spring and summer, however its activities are limited in fall and winter.The educational programs are organized and sponsored by the Oak Grove Docent Council. Along with the educational programs, the center also has provided an 18-hole disc golf course, children’s playgrounds, and a youth campground.

Oak Grove Nature Center - History

Welcome to Oak Canyon Nature Center

Oak Canyon Nature Center is a 58-acre natural park nestled in the Anaheim Hills. A year-round stream meanders through the park. Consisting of three adjoining canyons, four miles of hiking trails traverse one of the few remaining areas of oak woodland and coastal sage scrub in our region. Native wildlife makes the canyon their home and is just waiting to be discovered. Also located on site is the John J. Collier Interpretive Center, a small museum with live animal and regional natural history exhibits.

The Nature Center is ideal for those who are just stepping into the wilderness for the first time or for those more experienced trekkers who are seeking a short hike.

Contact Us

Oak Canyon Nature Center

Physical Address
6700 E Walnut Canyon Road
Anaheim, CA 92807

Mailing Address
200 S Anaheim Boulevard
Suite 433
Anaheim, CA 92805


Natural beauty and manmade elegance come together as one at Wildwood Preserve, the most visited of the Metroparks. The 493-acre park is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family.

Surrounded by natural habit, the stately home, now called the Manor House, played important roles in Toledo—and the park district's—history.

The main attraction at Wildwood is the system of trails that traverse varied terrain (a treat in the flatlands of northwest Ohio). The park is bisected by the Ottawa River and has sandy soil indicative of the rare Oak Openings Region.

The prairie community at Wildwood is home to many diverse and fascinating plants and animals. In the spring, it is a breeding site for ground-nesting birds such as rufous-sided towhees, field sparrows and American woodcock. Summer brings a spectacular display of prairie wildflowers and grasses, such as rough blazing star, big bluestem and Indian grasses, some reaching 10 feet high.

A stunning home amid the glory of nature.

Built in 1938 by Champion Spark Plug magnate Robert Stranahan, Metroparks acquired the estate, including the Manor House, in 1975 following a vigorous citizens' initiative to preserve the property, which was destined to become a housing development.

The house, crafted in a Georgian colonial style, is open for free tours and decorated for the holidays, while portions of the home and other buildings serve as Metroparks administrative offices.

PDF Maps

Forest preserves are open every day from sunrise to sunset. Check with Nature Centers, Campgrounds and other facilities for specific hours.

General Headquarters
536 North Harlem Avenue
River Forest, IL 60305 (view map)

  • Main: 800-870-3666
  • Permits: 800-870-3666 (option 1)
  • Police: 708-771-1000
  • Camping:
    855-YES-CAMP (855-937-2267)
  • ADA Requests & Complaints:
  • Media Inquiries: 708-906-1184

Supporting the Preserves

The Forest Preserve Foundation supports the mission and goals of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Preserve Partners

The Forest Preserves provides land and financial support to the Chicago Botanic Garden and Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo.

Fullersburg Woods

Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve is Oak Brook offers a 220-acre prime wildlife haven in an urban setting, hosting a wide variety of wildlife, nesting songbirds and spring and fall migratory birds, especially warblers. It is home to the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center , which offers hands-on, interactive exhibits and native wildlife on display, and the historic Graue Mill and Museum , which features the only operating waterwheel gristmill in Illinois in its original spot. The nearby Ben Fuller House is made of small timber and one of the oldest balloon-frame structures in Illinois.

Fullersburg has trails for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, picnic shelters and areas, and fishing and boating on Salt Creek.

Natural Scene

The oak woodlands and stretch of Salt Creek at Fullersburg Woods are home to beavers, red foxes, herons, egrets, nesting songbirds, and spring and fall migratory birds, especially warblers . The Night Heron Trail is a popular destination for fall color fans, too.

The main entrance is at 3609 Spring Road, 1 mile south of 31st Street and 0.25 mile north of Ogden Avenue.


Miles of multipurpose trails are open to hikers, bicyclers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers and dog walkers. Take a self-guided tour of the 1.3-mile interpretive trail through lowland woods and restored prairies by foot, bicycle or cross-country skis to learn about DuPage County's natural history. A section of the trail connects the nature education center to the Graue Mill and Museum, Graue House and Ben Fuller House.

The Wildflower Trail, which starts near the visitor center and travels through the woods and restored prairie, showcases many native species of wildflowers. In the winter, snowshoes are available for rent from the nature education center.


Fullersburg Woods has several picnic tables and small shelters, and you can use the main shelter and picnic area if they're not being used by school groups. Ground fires and grills are not allowed.


Fish for largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, northern pike and walleye along Salt Creek.

Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. Regulations, including creel limits and minimum lengths, are on our Fishing page .


Access Salt Creek via the canoe launch downstream of the Graue Mill dam.

The area around Fullersburg Woods was originally known as Brush Hill but was renamed Fullersburg after Jacob Fuller, and his son, Benjamin, who platted the town in 1851. Fullersburg Woods opened to the public in 1920 and has a rich history. In the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was built here, and the visitor center and several of the shelters stand as remnants of that period. In subsequent years, the preserve was so heavily used that in 1969 picnicking was restricted and boating was prohibited because discharges and water runoff from surrounding communities polluted Salt Creek.

It was at this time that Fullersburg’s revival began. Dedicated to multiple-use land management, the District implemented plans to restore and preserve the natural surroundings, improve flood control and provide environmental education. As a result, the creek’s water quality has improved, trees and other plant communities are thriving, and a restored prairie adds to the preserve’s diversity.

On This Page

Hours & Things to Know

The preserve is open daily from one hour after sunrise until one hour after sunset. Dogs must be on leashes under 10 feet long, and alcohol is prohibited. Read our Rules & Regulations.


Reservable Shelters


Shelter holds 160 people (80 under cover), has a kitchen with serving counter, sink, electricity, charcoal grills. Also a play area, horseshoe pit and ADA accessible restrooms. Available All Day only.


Shelter holds 160 people (80 under cover), has a kitchen with serving counter, sink, electricity, charcoal grills. Also a play area, horseshoe pit and ADA accessible restrooms. Available All Day only. Rates for Franklin County Residents and non-Residents.


Shelter holds 64 people (24 under cover), has grills, electricity, water fountain, horseshoe pit and playfield, restrooms. Shelter is not ADA accessible. Available All Day or Half Day.


Shelter holds 80 people, has grills, electricity, nearby water fountain, large playfield and restrooms. Available All Day or Half Day.

Beech-Maple Lodge

Lodge holds 72 people, has heating and air conditioning, a full kitchen with sink, refrigerator, microwave and electric range, plus a serving window. Also has a gas fireplace, large meeting room with pull down screen, WiFi and restrooms. Outside patio with picnic tables and grills. Parking for 61 cars with 2 handicap spots. Available All Day only.

Non-Reservable Shelters

Ash Grove Picnic Area

Area has grills, picnic tables, playground, playfield, restrooms, ½ basketball court.
1 Shelter: Enclosed on three sides, Seating approximately 16
1 Shelter: Enclosed on three sides, Seating approximately 32, Grills
1 Open Shelter: Seating approximately 64

Meadows Picnic Area

Area has grills, picnic tables, playground equipment, playfield and restrooms.
6 Shelters: Enclosed on three sides, Seating approximately 16 each, Grills
2 Open Shelters: Seating approximately 64 each, 4 grills

Upcoming Events

&ldquoThis place is my sanctuary. When life gets crazy, I head over to this long-time favorite nature zone. And every visit there are many differences. Be it the color of the grasses or the sounds of birds or the flow of the river, there are things to be observed and awed. My kids and I love all the people that work and serve there, love their gift shop and checking in on the rescued animals. The alternating education displays are very informative without boredom. The kids and I can never get enough of Effie Yeaw.&rdquo

- Tina K. (Yelp)

Meadowside Nature Center

Outdoor park areas and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily.
The nature center building is temporarily closed for the health and safety of our visitors and our staff. Restroom facilities are not available. Please plan accordingly.

5100 Meadowside Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20855

During inclement weather, please check our Facebook page and the Montgomery Parks’ weather alerts page for more information.

Montgomery Parks encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact 301-495-2581 (Voice/TTY), MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 or [email protected]

Mask Notice

Masks are no longer required outdoors in the parks. Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks indoors at park facilities. Unvaccinated persons must continue to wear face coverings indoors.

Maryland Department of Health strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals over the age of 2 wear masks in indoor settings and outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained.

P rior to visiting any of our parks, trails, or facilities, visit MontgomeryParks.org/COVID-19 for more information.

New Exhibits and Renovations are Underway for Meadowside Nature Center

Meadowside Nature Center is undergoing renovations to incorporate new interactive and immersive exhibits throughout the entire building. During this time, the nature center will remain closed to the public until Fall 2021.

For more information about the renovation process, visit the Meadowside Nature Center’s renovation webpage.

Welcome! Meadowside Nature Center is located within the 1800-acre Rock Creek Regional Park. It opened February 19, 1972, as the second nature center operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery County Department of Parks.

There are always things to see and do outside Meadowside Nature Center! The nature center offers outdoor and environmental education programming for families, schools, and scouts. We even offer Spanish language and a combination of Spanish and English bilingual programs. Visitors can also spend time hiking eight miles of nature trails down to Lake Frank or walk around Muncaster Mill and learn where grains like wheat and corn were ground into flour. When the Nature Center reopens, visit our resident owls, hawks, vulture, and American bald eagle in the Raptor Walkway.

Please note: The nature center building is currently closed due to COVID-19. Restroom facilities are not available please plan accordingly. Outdoor park areas and trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk daily.

Want to hike around Meadowside Nature Center, but aren’t sure where to start? View our StoryMap below and check out some of the hidden gems located along the trails. Click here to view the StoryMap fullscreen.

Upcoming Events

The Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship

The mission of the Montgomery Parks’ Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship is to provide camp scholarships to young people, ages 6 – 14, from diverse backgrounds within Montgomery County. We believe camp is a place that changes lives, and we want every child to have the opportunity to experience the joys of summer camp (Learn how to donate). M-NCPPC recognizes that many residents are financially unable to participate in Summer Camp Programs and remains committed to serving the needs of all residents of Montgomery County. Learn more and download the application.

The Highlands Center for Natural History

In our classroom without walls you will discover Ponderosa Pine covered mountains, deeply shaded riparian habitats, chaparral and woodland, remarkable geologic formations, and amazing vistas, in addition to all manner of forest inhabitants. With educational programming, hiking trails, and a botanic garden, our Prescott nature center has activities for all ages. 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott, AZ 86303 Get Directions >

Official Internet provider of the Highlands Center for Natural History

Highlands Center for Natural History

The Highlands Center for Natural History helps children and adults discover the wonders of nature and become wise caretakers of the land.

Established in 1996, the Highlands Center for Natural History is a science-based non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) developed to foster an appreciation for and knowledge of the natural wonders of the Central Highlands of Arizona. Operating on an 80-acre campus near Lynx Lake through a Special Use Permit with Prescott National Forest, the Highlands Center is a hub for lifelong learning, designed to invite discovery of the wonders of nature through on and offsite programs reaching over 15,000 children and adults a year and supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and community partners.

1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott, AZ 86303
Federal Tax ID# 86-0798677

Our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten program provide a creative and loving Christian environment for 3, 4, and 5-year- olds that educates the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.

Our school nurtures curious and interactive learners to thrive academically, spiritually, and emotionally, building on the solid foundation of Christian teaching and Christ-like character. Designed for grades K-5, students receive individual attention, encouraging them to reach their full potential.



Photo: Mike Johnson


Photo: Sarah Hunter

Along the Olentangy River, access from the River Bluff area, 8400 Olentangy River Road.

Cross-country skiing

Photo: Virginia Gordon

The Coyote Run Trail (3.5 miles) and the Scenic River Trail (0.6 miles) are reserved for use as cross-country ski trails when conditions are suitable.

Day Camps

Photo: Angela Latham

The Dragonfly Day Camp is reservable by organized youth groups by calling 614.508.8111.


Photo: Michele Boyd-Dailey

Along the Olentangy River.

Natural Play Areas

Photo: Dan Bissonette

Explore the 15-acre area with a forest and path to the Olentangy River, where kids and caregivers can safely roam and enjoy unstructured play in nature by climbing trees, playing in the dirt and other fun adventures. Turn left at the intersection in the Big Meadows Picnic Area and stop at the first parking lot. Entrance on left.

Nature Centers

Photo: Rob Clements

Discover nature and cultural history at the many displays and see wildlife at the feeders through the nature center's windows.
April to September: 9am to 8pm
October to March: 9am to 6pm

Nature Preserves

Photo: Greg Immel

The 206-acre nature preserve is named in honor of former Director of Metro Parks, Edward F. Hutchins. No off-trail activity is permitted in the nature preserve.

Photo: Virginia Gordon


Big Meadows Path: 1 mile
Coyote Run Trail: 3.5 miles
Multi-use Trail: 1.25 miles
Oak Coves Path: 0.4 miles
Scenic River Trail: 0.6 miles


Photo: John Potter

Two enclosed shelters and two open shelters at Oak Coves Picnic Area, and seven enclosed shelters and two open shelters at Big Meadows Picnic Area. All the shelters have grills, picnic tables, a play area and ADA accessible restrooms. Available to use free on a first come-first served basis.


Photo: Dan Bissonette

Two sledding hills in the Big Meadows Picnic Area, one for children age 10 and younger.

Watch the video: Oak Grove Nature Center (January 2022).