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Westwood Hills Nature Center

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Westwood Hills Nature Center

Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. The preserve is beautiful throughout the seasons and provides homes for many animals including deer, fox, mink and owls. Westwood Naturalists conduct year-round programs to increase visitors understanding and appreciation of our natural world. The nature center is located just south of I-394 and east of Highway 169. Parking and admission are free. Wood chipped, boardwalks and hard surface accessible trails are open from dawn to dusk year-round. Take a peek at what you'll see at the Nature Center!

Nature center BuildingVisit our website to register for programs and more!

Westwood Hills Nature Center
8300 W. Franklin Ave.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Phone: 952.924.2544

Park & Trail Hours:
Nature center trails and playground are open every day from sunrise to sunset, year-round.

Interpretive Center Building Hours
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.

The Interpretive Center Building will be closed the following dates in 2017: April 16, May 27-29, July 4, September 2-4, October 22, November 10, November 23-26, December 25

Prohibited Activities:
In order to maintain Westwood's natural habitats, the following activities are prohibited.

  • Dogs and other pets.
  • Picking or collecting of any plant or animal including wildflowers.
  • Feeding of wildlife.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Bicycle riding on trails.
  • Releasing/relocating any wild animal.

Help Restore Westwood Hills Nature Center

updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Come join our partner, Great River Greening, to help restore a section of forest in Westwood Hills Nature Center. Over the years many terrestrial invasive species, such as buckthorn and garlic mustard have overtaken sections of the Nature Center's forests. With the help of Great River Greening and a grant from the State of Minnesota Environment...

Westwood Hills Nature Center Picnic Pavilion

This pavilion, located near the playground, has an open design which seats up to 25 people. Windows on three sides of this fully accessible building offer beautiful views of the Nature Center grounds and the state-of the-art playground.  The building also features restrooms, sinks, and drinking fountains.  It's a great place for meetings,...

Westwood Hills Nature Center Programs

updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The following activities are offered through Westwood Hills Nature Center programming.  For more information and to register go to or visit our website at

April 2017 - August 2017 Programs

Public Programs

  • All about Bones
  • Live Animal Meet and Greet
  • Animal Super Powers
  • Spring Scavenger Hunt
  • Amazing Amphibians
  • Archery
  • Peer into the Pond
  • Spring Wildflowers on Mothers Day
  • Spring Bird Watching Walk
  • Family Canoeing
  • Lichens and Moss - Adult
  • Evening Canoeing - Adult
  • Spring Bird Watching Walk - Adult
  • Aquatic Plants and Animals - Adult
  • Raptors Behind the Scenes - Adult
  • Pollinators - Adult
  • Campfire Programs

             Fire Making


             Summer Solstice


             Night Flyers

Preschool Programs

  • Puppet Story Time:   

              Maple Syrup Mystery

              April Showers

              Salamanders in My Room

              Turtle Time

              Buggin' Out

              Monarch Madness

  • Nature for the Very Young:

             Mud is Fun

             Baby Animals

             Prairie Prowl

  • Tuesday Turtles Preschool

              April Session

              May Session

Home School Programs

  • Map and Compass
  • Pond Life and Water Quality

Spring Break and Summer Camps

  • Puppet Camp
  • April Fools Camp
  • Pollywogs Preschool Camps
  • Discoverers
  • Wings and Things
  • Build It Camp
  • Outdoor Skills
  • That's Gross Camp
  • Hard Rock Camp
  • Nature Arts and Crafts
  • How Animals Grow
  • Wild About Animals
  • Nature Big and Small
  • Archery
  • Predator Prey
  • Orienteering
  • Live Animal Meet and Greet
  • Nature Theater Arts Camp
  • Mystery Camp
  • Plants are Way Cooler than Animals
  • H2O... So Much Fun!
  • Safari Escapade




Nature Center Park Packs

A Park Pack backpack is filled with nature activities designed for hands-on field investigations for all ages. Park Packs include: self-guided hikes, tools for investigation, art activities, poetry, stories, music and games that fit the pack’s theme, each park pack has a different theme. Themes include: insects, ponds, reptiles and amphibians...

More Links

Westwood Hills Nature Center
8300 West Franklin Avenue
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Phone: 952.924.2544 Email: