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Check out our seasonal newsletter, programs and classes including currently offered scout badge work.  To register online, visit the PROCTOR online registration (Location: PPNC) or call 402-441-7895. The Nature Center also serves as a liaison to volunteer-run Hyde Observatory. Nature Center programs and events include:Special Program

  • School hikes to more than 12,000 school children annually
  • 8 weeks of nature camps for ages 3 to 17
  • A wide range of public programs for all ages
  • Birthday parties
  • Outreach programs

Facility Rentals

Did you know you can rent the auditorium in the prairie building or the Birthday Party House? Call 402-441-7895 for more information and to make your reservation today!

Birthday Parties at the Nature Center!
Reptiles Rock, Insect Investigations, Nature’s Scavenger Hunt, Amazing Birds, Marvelous Mammals or Grow in the Garden. Choose the theme that will make for an exciting birthday celebration. Available from 10-noon on Saturdays and 1:30-3:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. We provide the space, program, a favor bag for each child, and a special gift for the guest of honor.
Available facilities: Birthday House, $78 for 10 children and 3 adults, $7 each additional child, 15 maximum. Auditorium, $100 for up to 10 children and 5 adults, $7 each additional child, $3 each additional adult. Call 402-441-7895 for reservations at least two weeks in advance.

2015 Upcoming Programs April - August

Register for classes today! Keyword: PPNC

Download the full Spring Program Guide for contact information, hours and fees.

Programs for all ages

Hand in Hand: Spring Song
Together you and your child will discover the wonder of spring through walks, crafts, and stories. Please dress for the weather, since we will be spending a portion of each class outside. A snack will be provided. Ages 2 ½-3 ½ year olds and accompanying adult. Register by April 3.
Dates: Mondays, April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11 & 18 | Time: 10-11:30am
Location: Prairie Building Goldenrod Classroom | Fee: $50/child/6 week session

Naturalist Activity Badge for Weblos
Learn to identify the poisonous plants and animals of our area, search for animals of our region, investigate food chains, bird flyways, and the importance of wetlands. Complete activities 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 with the help of Nature Center staff. Register by April 29.
Date: Saturday, May 2 | Time: 9:30 am – Noon
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $12/scout

Mother's Day Bird Walk
Spend the morning celebrating Mother’s Day and enjoy an early morning bird walk and breakfast. Rolls, fruit, and beverages are included. Binoculars are available for those who need them. Register by May 7.
Date: Sunday, May 10 | Time: 8:00 – 10:00 am
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $15/person

Coffee House on the Prairie
Enjoy a casual evening on the prairie, watching the sunset, sipping beverages, and listening to acoustic music. Sponsored by Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso. This event will have unlimited coffee and tea. Advanced tickets recommended and are available at the Nature Center and Meadowlark Coffee and Espresso.
Date: Friday, May 15 | Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: At the School House | Fee: $15/person

Backyard Composting
Learn how to compost in your backyard, UNL Extension and the City Recycling Office will host a workshop at the Nature Center backyard composting demonstration area. Two lucky participants will receive a free soil thermometer or plastic compost bin.
Date: Saturdays, April 18, May 16 and June 20 | Time: 10 am
Location: Composting Demonstration Area | Fee: Free

Recycling Rainwater
Want to have a more resilient landscape to enjoy around your home? Learn about ‘green’ techniques that work with the rainwater that lands on your property. This workshop will focus on native landscaping, improving soils, and rain water harvesting, with an overall goal of helping you create a more sustainable landscape. Participants will build and take home their own rain barrel. Space is limited, register by May 27.
Date: Saturday, May 30 | Time: 9-11am
Date: Sunday, May 31 | Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $25 for workshop and rain barrel, $5 for just the workshop

Walk Among Wildflowers
Walk among wildflowers and grasses and learn about the resilient and beautiful flora of Nebraska. Register by June 4.
Date: Sunday, June 7 | Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $3/person

Nature Trekkers
Each week we will trek to a new destination. We’ll explore these areas and learn about different plants and animals here at the Nature Center. Children groups must be supervised: one adult for every six kids. Be prepared to walk up to 1 mile for some hikes. Register by the Monday before each program.
Dates: Wednesdays in June and July
Time:10:00 – 11:00 am
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $3/person
June 10: Nature Play Area
June 17: Hudson Cabin and School House
June 24: Martin Pond
July 1: Harrington Prairie
July 8: Children’s and Animal Gardens
July 15: Heron Wetlands
July 22: Flemming Woods

Frogs and Floats
Celebrate Father’s Day catching frogs, tadpoles, and other exotic looking critters that make their home in our ponds and streams. We’ll use nets to dip in the pond and magnifiers to take a closer look or our findings. Refreshing root beer floats will be served after we let all of our critters go back in the pond. Old shoes and clothes are encouraged for this adventure. Insects repellent is also recommended. Register by June 18.
Date: Sunday, June 21 | Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $8/person, $15/family

Garden Friends Party
Gnomes, fairies, games, and snacks will be part of this afternoon garden tea party. Dress up if you’d like, we will be playing outside. Register by June 22.
Date: Thursday, June 25 | Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $5/person

Butterfly Count
Take part in the annual butterfly count sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). We’ll begin with an hour-long introductory slide show. Participants will then disperse to the count areas: Pioneers Park Nature Center, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, and Nine-Mile Prairie (optional in the afternoon). No need to be an expert, an experienced person will accompany each group. The count involves walking approximately 2 hours and covering 2-3 miles. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register by July 8.
Date: Saturday, July 11 | Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $5/person

Rock and Mineral Grinding Party
What are some of the various gems and minerals found in the Great Plains? How are gemstones prepared for jewelry? Processes from the “rough” stone through cutting, polishing, and finishing will be demonstrated by members of the Lincoln Gem and Mineral Club. No registration required.
Date: Sunday, July 12 | Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $5 Donation

Herbs: From the Garden to the Table
Fresh herbs will be used to make an assortment of pesto and dipping sauces. Learn easy recipes then sample some fun dishes to share with your friends and family. Register by July 15.
Date: Saturday, July 18 | Time: 9:00 – 11:00 am
Location: Prairie Building | Fee: $12/person

Prairie Jazz Festival
This event, hosted by the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center, offers guests the unique opportunity to enjoy professional jazz music in the open tallgrass prairie. The 2015 Prairie Jazz Festival will feature the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, Annette Murrell with Jim Williams will be the opening performers.
Date: Saturday, August 29 | Time: 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: On the Prairie | Fee: Advanced ticket purchase
Learn more at

Prairie Run
Experience the Nature Center’s prairie in a whole new way. Run on trails through tall grass and support prairie restoration.
Date: Saturday, November 7 | Start Time: 9:00am
Distance: 1 mile and 5K
Register at


Scout Hikes
One hour naturalist-led hikes are available.
Date: Saturday, July 18 | Time: 9:00 – 11:00 am
Fee: $4/scout/minimum 10. Arrange 2 weeks in advance.

Badge Work
Upon request, staff will work with leaders on badge programming with the following fee schedule:
2 hours or less: $8/scout/minimum 10
2.5-3 hours: $12/scout/minimum 10