List of nature centers in North Carolina

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This is a list of nature centers and environmental education centers in the state of North Carolina.

To use the sortable tables: click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

Name Location County Region Summary
Agapé Center for Environmental Education Fuquay-Varina Wake Triangle website, 624 acres, experiential learning about the environment for groups
Airlie Gardens Wilmington New Hanover Eastern 67 acres, formal gardens with environmental education programs for youth and adults
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Manteo Dare Eastern Visitor center with exhibits about the ecosystem of the refuge, conservation, education programs
Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve Raleigh Wake Triangle website, 156 acres, operated by the City
Bald Head Island Conservancy Bald Head Island Brunswick Eastern Family adventure programs, summer camps, nature tours, turtle walks
Balsam Mountain Preserve Sylva Jackson website, operated by the Balsam Mountain Trust, about 4,400 acres, nature center includes live animals, general public must have confirmed reservations to visit
Bass Lake Park Holly Springs Wake Triangle website, park features 100-acre lake stocked for fishing, nature center with native animal exhibits, operated by the City
Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center Reidsville Rockingham website, almost 200 acres, research based educational experiences for schools and groups, summer camp
Blue Jay Point County Park Raleigh Wake Triangle website, 236 acres, operated by the County
Blue Planet Water Environmental Center Huntersville Mecklenburg Charlotte area website, hands-on educational center about water and wastewater, operated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities
Carolina Beach State Park Carolina Beach New Hanover Eastern 761 acres, visitor center exhibits about the park's carnivorous plants
Carolina Raptor Center Charlotte Mecklenburg Charlotte area website, raptor rehabilitation center with exhibits
Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education Raleigh Wake Triangle website, headquarters of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, features wetland exhibits and overlook, exhibits about wildlife conservation in North Carolina
Clark Park Nature Center Fayetteville Cumberland Eastern website, 72 acres, operated by the City
Clemmons Educational State Forest Clayton Johnston Eastern Features Forestry Exhibit Center with interactive exhibits about the ecology of forests, soil, water, wildlife and the state's cultural history
Cool Springs Environmental Education Center New Bern Craven website, 1,700 acres of forestland along the Neuse River, programs on forests and forestry, operated by Weyerhaeuser, requires appointment
Crowder District Park Apex Wake Triangle website, 33 acres, operated by the County
Dan Nicholas Park Salisbury Rowan Charlotte area website, operated by the County, park with wildlife, nature center, carousel, water park, small farm with animals, other family attractions
Discovery Place Nature Charlotte Mecklenburg Charlotte area Interactive nature exhibits and live animal displays of the Piedmont region, adjacent to 98-acre Freedom Park, operated by Discovery Place
Foothills Equestrian Nature Center Tryon Polk Western website, 384 acres
Frank Sharpe Jr. Wildlife Education Center Greensboro Guilford Piedmont Triad website, operated in 250-acre Bur-Mil Park
Goose Creek State Park Washington Beaufort Eastern 1,327 acres, includes environmental education and visitor center with exhibits, a wet lab
Grandfather Mountain Linville Avery Western 2,456 acres, part preserve and part state park, features nature museum, naturalist programs
Hanging Rock State Park Danbury Stokes Piedmont Triad 7,049 acres, visitor center features hands-on exhibits about plants and animals, video, programs
Highlands Nature Center Highlands Macon Western website, open seasonally, exhibits about the biodiversity of the southern Appalachian region, operated by the Highlands Biological Foundation
Howell Woods Four Oaks Johnston Eastern website, 2,800 acre environmental learning center operated by Johnston Community College
Kaleideum North Winston-Salem Forsyth Science museum and 15 acre environmental park
Kerr Lake State Recreation Area Henderson Vance Triangle 50,000-acre man-made lake, Satterwhite Point visitor's center features an exhibit hall, programs, also W. Kerr Scott Lake’s Environmental Education Center
Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve Huntersville Mecklenburg Charlotte area website, 1,351 acres, operated by the County
Lee Park Nature Center Sanford Lee Eastern website, 177 acres, operated by the County
McDowell Nature Center and Preserve Charlotte Mecklenburg Charlotte area website, 1,107 acres, operated by the County
Museum of Coastal Carolina Ocean Isle Beach Brunswick Eastern Natural history museum with dioramas and exhibits about the natural science, environment, and cultural history of the coastal region of the Carolinas
Museum of Life and Science Durham Durham Triangle 84 acres, natural history and science museum with insectarium and live animals, 6 acres wetland with boardwalk and live native animals, a farmyard, railroad and more
Neuseway Nature Center and Planetarium Kinston Lenoir Eastern 55 acres, includes touch tank, live native animals, Lenoir Memorial Hospital Health & Science Museum, planetarium and campgrounds
North Carolina Arboretum Asheville Buncombe Western 434 acres, arboretum and botanical garden, 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, youth and adult nature programs
North Carolina Estuarium Washington Beaufort Eastern website, operated by the Partnership for the Sounds, ecology of North Carolina's estuaries, especially the Pamlico River, Tar River and Pamlico Sound
Oak Island Nature Center Oak Island Brunswick Eastern information, operated by the Town, open seasonally
Onslow County Environmental Education Center & Sneads Ferry Branch Library Sneads Ferry Onslow Eastern website, display of county ecology, geography, flora, and fauna inside the branch library
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education Corolla Currituck Eastern website, operated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, located in Currituck Heritage Park, natural and cultural history of northeastern North Carolina, features aquarium, waterfowl decoy gallery
Piedmont Environmental Center High Point Guilford Piedmont Triad website, 376 acres, operated by the City, 11 miles of trails
Piedmont Wildlife Center Durham Durham Triangle Located at 82-acre Leigh Farm Park
Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education Pisgah Forest Transylvania Western website, located in Pisgah National Forest, operated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, features trout hatchery
Prairie Ridge Ecostation Raleigh] Wake Triangle 45 acres, operated by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve Charlotte Mecklenburg Charlotte area 737 acres, operated by the County, over 10 miles of trails, features live, native animals, an exhibit hall, a classroom
Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve Cary Wake Triangle 140 acres, operated by the Town
Sturgeon City Jacksonville Onslow Eastern website, restored wetlands around a former wastewater treatment plant, environmental and science programs
Sylvan Heights Bird Park Scotland Neck Halifax website, 18-acre park features aviaries displaying birds from around the work, gardens, education about waterfowl, wildlife and wetland conservation
A Time for Science Grifton Pitt Eastern website, nature and science learning center located at the 200-acre Bray Hollow Conservancy
Walnut Creek Wetland Center Raleigh Wake Triangle website, 59 acres, operated by the City
Walter B Jones, Sr. Center for The Sounds Columbia Tyrrell Eastern Natural history of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center Greenville Pitt Eastern website, operated by the City in 324-acre River Park North
Western North Carolina Nature Center Asheville Buncombe Western Operated by the City, 40-acre zoological park with animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian region
Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve Southern Pines Moore Sandhills 898 acres, state park and preserve with natural history museum and environmental education programs
William B. Umstead State Park Raleigh Wake Triangle 5,439 acres, visitor center exhibits, education programs
White Deer Park and Nature Center Garner Wake Triangle website, 96 acres, operated by the Town


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