Everyone is welcome in every season.
That's what makes Quarry Hill so special. In the 1970's, the Nature Center was founded as a community project, and our doors, pathways and educational opportunities are open to everyone. It's why we're asking you and everyone who's loved Quarry Hill over the generations to make sure this vital and unique community resource stays strong to meet continued public demand.
Quarry Hill Nature Center took root when one teacher - thinking outside the walls of the traditional classroom - brought a community together to support science education in the immersive environment of a city park right at the edge of town. Outdoor classes led by public school teachers began in 1966, and work began on Quarry Hill Nature Center in 1972 with funds and labor donated by area residents, businesses, and community groups.
Major renovations in 1990 and 1999 added more space to meet the needs of greater numbers of visitors and set the stage for the growth that’s brought us to the needs of the present day.
This past year, 104,000 visitors joined in programs, education, park use and a visit to the nature center, including more than 28,000 visits by area K-12 students for science enrichment.
Here, you connect to nature and each other. You discover the beauty and unique character of our city, region and state. The song of the chickadee in January and the croak of the bullfrog chirp of a cricket in July remind all of us that many of the joys we hold most dear take place simply by stepping outdoors with family and friends.
Our capital campaign, Where Nature Takes Root, is nearing completion. We’re close to reaching our goal. We’re asking everyone who loves Quarry Hill to contribute at any level — $25, $50, $100 or more. Just as an acorn holds great potential, your gift will help us do great things today and tomorrow, growing to meet the needs of our community. Thank you.
Where Nature Takes Root is a capital campaign many years in the making aimed squarely at the future. Quarry Hill is a living, growing and thriving place, and as the city and community have grown, so too has demand for everything that makes Quarry Hill great. With your help, we can provide new education and recreation opportunities by rejuvenating our existing nature center and adding a new educational facilityExploration Hall:
Renovation Designed and Fabricated by Blue Rhino Studios
See, hear, touch and connect. Free admission and open 361 days per year, new exploratory exhibits will include:
- New geology wing with walk-in karst cave
- Investigation Station with state of the art microscopes
- Improved housing for all live animals
- New 1500 gallon freshwater aquarium with crawl through tunnels
- Remodeled children’s library with climbing loft and interactive Citizen Science center
New Construction Designed by CRW Architecture
A destination classroom nestled in the prairie for groups up to 75 people:
- Immersive learning in the natural landscape
- Expanded and new programming in cooperation with community partners
- Green building and landscaping best practices: solar electricity, natural ventilation , passive heat gain, and water reclamation