Great Plains Nature Center
© Great Plains Nature Center

The Great Plains Nature Center is an outdoor nature park with recreational facilities designed to educate visitors about the fauna and flora found on North America's Great Plains. Located in Chisholm Creek Park on the north side of Wichita, the Great Plains Nature Center features a variety of informative and interactive exhibits, a classroom for educational programs and workshops, the Koch Auditorium, and the Bob Gress Wildlife Observatory.

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1.History & Mission

History & Mission
© Great Plains Nature Center

The Center also offers easy access to the 240-acre Chisholm Creek Park's system of walking trails, wetlands, and riparian habitats, as well as a range of educational programs, are offered throughout the year. The Great Plains Nature Center is surrounded by the 282-acre Chisholm Creek Park and over two miles of paved walking trails.

Managed by the Wichita Department of Park and Recreation, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Great Plains Nature Center was established to provide interpretive, environmental and recreational education opportunities for the community. The Nature Center also serves as an environmental and conservation resource for community education, with emphasis on the importance of urban habitats to both people and wildlife and people.

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© Great Plains Nature Center

At the center of the Great Plains, Nature Center is the Koch Habitat Hall, which features over 3,500 square feet of exhibits and displays devoted to the Great Plains of North America, as well as exhibits on the wetlands, rivers, lakes, riparian habitats, and woodlands of the region. The Hall is decorated with murals by Kent Pendleton and John Lencicki and boasts hands-on interactive exhibits and displays that focus immersive learning. There is also a 2,200-gallon aquarium with a diverse variety of native Kansas fish species, and a special ‘Critter Corner’ in the Museum section of the Center.

The Bob Gress Wildlife Observatory can be found at the far end of the Koch Habitat Hall and features large windows with beautiful views over the surrounding wetlands, recirculating streams and myriad plants and flowers that attract local birdlife.

The Coleman Auditorium is a state-of-the-art auditorium with audio-visual equipment that seats up to 200 people and is used for meetings and seminars relating to wildlife, as well as special public presentations.

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© Great Plains Nature Center

The Great Plains Nature Center offers an array of educational activities, opportunities, and events throughout the year, including the annual ‘Walk With Wildlife.’ Programs include School Field Trips, Scout Programs, Family Programs, and Summer Teacher Workshops. Children’s Programs include Naturally Crafty, Story Time, and Little Nature Lover’s, while Family Programs include Full Moon Walk and Creature Features. Other programs include Fly-Tying Workshops, Senior Wednesdays.

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4.Visitor Information

Visitor Information
© Great Plains Nature Center

The Great Plains Nature Center is located at 6232 E. 29th Street North in Wichita and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Center offers a range of educational programs and host meetings for a variety of local environmental, outdoors and wildlife groups.The Owl’s Nest Gift Shop sells a range of unique gifts, books, and other nature-related trinkets.

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6232 E. 29th Street North, Wichita, KS 67220-2200, Phone: 316-683-5499

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Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, Kansas