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Parks and Recreation

Our Programs and Services

School Field Trips

kids smiling at the pond

The Nature Center offers field trips designed to provide students with meaningful, enjoyable outdoor experiences enhancing their study of science and appreciation of nature. The Educator's Guide to the Nature Center was developed in alignment with the Metro Nashville Public Schools' science curriculum standards and Common Core State Standards for Speaking and Listening. For a list of State Science Standards covered by Nature Center field trips, as well as a list of the Common Core Standards we address, please see our Supplement to the Educator's Guide.

Registration for these free programs will open:

  • For high school and college labs on August 19, at 9 a.m.
  • For Metro Nashville Public Schools only on August 2 at 9 a.m.
  • For all other educational groups including home schools, private schools, and out-of-county schools on August 9 at 9 a.m.

Field trips will be offered beginning September 7 and end on November 16.

Field trips will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Please have the following information ready when you call:

  • Contact name
  • Phone number for school and contact
  • Organization name and address
  • Number of students and grade
  • Program name

School groups may also visit the Nature Center on their own on Fridays when naturalist-led field trips are not available. For more information about a self-guided visit, please call 615-352-6299.

PechaKucha - Inspiring Children to Learn Outdoors

Public Programs

facepainting at Insects of the Night event

To help people of all ages enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Warner Parks, the Nature Center offers a variety of public programs tailored for all ages. Almost all of our programs are free of charge. Registration for programs is required and can be done by calling the Nature Center at 615-352-6299.

  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) These programs are designed specifically for young children who are just beginning to develop their innate curiosity for the natural world.
  • Homeschool Journeys are hands-on exploration and first-hand experiences through which children discover the intricacies, as well as the beauty, of the natural world. Children aged 5-13 (Kindergarten through 8th grade) may register for the fall series, which take place September through December. All registration for Homeschool Journeys is online. To register, visit our Calendar of Events page on September 7, and click on the desired age and session you wish to register for. From there, you fill out the necessary information, and hit submit. Once the space is filled, you can email wpnc@nashville.gov to be put on the waiting list.
  • Families (all ages) These programs are fun, friendly, informal gatherings where children and adults can celebrate the wonder and beauty of nature. Topics are often very general, but there is always something of interest for everyone.
  • Adults (ages 13 and up) For park visitors who are looking for programs that address natural history topics in an adult manner, these programs incorporate enjoyable outdoor experiences with meaningful interpretation.

Scout Programs

At this time, the Nature Center is not offering programs for individual scout troops. Please direct any questions or comments to Heather Gallagher at 615-352-6299 or heather.gallagher@nashville.gov. Scout programs will be offered on the public schedule this fall.

Junior Naturalist Program

Kids with Junior Naturalist workbook

Explore Warner Park this summer while completing the new Junior Naturalist Activity Book! From scavenger bingo to creek crawls, this brand-new book challenges kids ages 6-12 years old to explore a variety of habitats as you work to earn your very own naturalist badge. You can purchase an activity book for only $2 at the Nature Center.

Nature Play

Nature Play Brochure

Remember when you had hours of fun simply playing in a sand pit or dirt pile? Your toys were sticks, rocks, and cups. You made mud pies, truck lanes, and deep holes in the sand. You got dirty, but you had the time of your life. The Nature Center wants kids to experience this good, old fashion fun in our Nature Play area.

Designed by Tara Armistead and funded by memorial contributions for her father, Dr. William Crenshaw, this exciting play area includes a cedar wood playhouse, a stone wall in one corner, 2 dirt piles, and a huge sand pit. Plus, (and this is the most fun part) there is a spigot that funnels water into the dirt! Mud pies anyone?

Nature Play area behind Learning Center

Purple Packs

Fall little purple pack 2014

Purple Packs have been updated again! These packs, which can be checked out from the Nature Center for free between 9 and 3 p.m. daily, have activities and tools to encourage exploration around the pond, garden, forest, and field. Our newest additions include scavenger hunts for nuts and seeds for both our preschool friends and school-aged children. Check out a purple pack today and hit the trail!