Prairie Park Nature Center

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Dedicated To Building Connections With Nature

The mission of the Prairie Park Nature Center is to promote an appreciation of the importance of conserving the natural world through hands-on environmental and conservation education.

The nature center is free to all visitors.

About Us | Programs | Outdoor Recreation | Camps | Animals | Special Events

Visit Us


2730 Harper St.
Lawrence, KS 66046


Prairie Park Nature Center is located on the east side of Lawrence. Find us in the neighborhood via 27th Street off of Haskell Avenue.

Hours of Operation

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1 p.m. to 4 p.m.



News/Upcoming Events

  • Meet & Eat With Dr. Roger Boyd

    11:30-noon Wed., Sept. 2.

    Learn about the expansion of the Baker Wetlands and the Grand Opening of the Baker Wetlands Education Center. Roger's talk will be about 30 min. Then we will take a short drive to view the new wetland area. Cost is $10. (Lunch - 11:30 a.m.-Noon; Talk - 12-12:30 p.m. View wetlands - 12:30-1 p.m.) Enroll Online
  • Grandparents Nature Fun

    10 a.m.-Noon, Sat., Sept. 5.

    Kids and grandparents get to spend quality time together. Meet live animals, make crafts and go on a scavenger hunt. Cost is $3 for one grandparent and one child. Preregistration is not required.
  • Magnificent Monarchs

    1-4 p.m. Sun., Sept. 20.

    Celebrate the annual migration. Come out and see if you can catch some migrating butterflies. Programs on the magnificent monarch during the afternoon. Nets provided. All you can catch, you can tag for $3. Preregistration is not required.

About the Nature Center

Prairie Park Nature Center opened in 1999 as a 100-acre nature preserve on the east side of Lawrence. The preserve incorporates wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats and a five acre lake.

Visitors may see a wide variety of native Kansas wildlife on the property including beavers, deer, bobcats and birds of prey.

The nature center preserve and education building are operated by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and funded by City of Lawrence sales tax revenue.

Prairie Park offers walking trails for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts as well as educational programs to the public, schools and local groups.

The education building features natural habitat dioramas, displays and live animals, including a live bird of prey collection with eagles, owls, hawks and falcons.

The nature center conducts a wide variety of environmental and recreation programs for the public, schools, scouts, adults, and other groups.

Mary's Lake

Picture of Children hiking at Mary's Lake

Mary's Lake is just a short walk from the education building and is open for public fishing. This lake participates in the state community  and is stocked with fish by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks throughout the spring and summer.

A state fishing license is required for persons ages 16 to 65. Limits are posted at the lake.

View the Map of Trails at Prairie Park Nature Center »