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Parks and Recreation

Become a Naturalist in 2019

Do you...

people looking at flowers

  • Go outside?
  • Observe closely?
  • Quietly saunter/walk slowly?
  • Respect living things?
  • Draw, photograph or journal what you see?

Then you are already on your way to becoming a Naturalist.

Warner Park is kicking off our Year of the Naturalist with family-friendly monthly iNaturalist challenges.

To participate in these challenges:

  • Email the Nature Center to sign up.
  • Download the iNaturalist app.
  • Watch the tutorial on the app, and create your account and iNaturalist name.
  • Need help? Call or email the Nature Center at 615-862-8555 to schedule a tutorial.
  • Explore Warner Park.
  • Record observations of living things using your smartphone's camera; choose the project "Warner Park Biodiversity Project".
  • Focus on the monthly challenge (details below!).

Our goals for the Warner Park Biodiversity Project are:

  • Contribute to the Warner Park natural history inventory.
  • Provide Park visitors with a cool, new tool to identify plants, animals and other living things.
  • Offer naturalists from all over the world the opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna right here in Nashville, right here in Warner Park.
  • Record a previously unknown species in Warner Park

Watch our Facebook page for updates and amazing discoveries by Park naturalists.

pink spring beauty flowers

March iNaturalist Challenge: Wildflowers

Because they don't move, wildflowers are the easiest life to photograph, identify and add to the iNaturalist project in Warner Park.

Photograph as many as you can in the Park. If you can't ID them, send us your picture and we'll assist, or just drop by and we'll peruse a Tennessee wildflower book together. Right now, look for toothwort opening and bluebell leaves.

Even more frustrated with naming these spring beauties (like the spring beauties to the left)? Join a wildflower hike later this month. Stroll the trails and explore the fields of Warner Park looking for Nashville mustard-endemic to middle Tennessee--and other wildflowers such Trillium and Virginia bluebells. Use our Warner Park Wildflower list to narrow down your finds to family/genus.

Space is limited to 15 participants (ever try to share a spring beauty or speedwell with a group?) and adults over 13.

Become a Junior Naturalist

Spend a Week at the Nature Center this Summer

Grab your water shoes, magnifying glass and other naturalist tools to explore Warner Park this summer with a Staff Naturalist guide. Registration opens February 6. For more information, check out our Programs page.

Check Out a Free Purple Pack

Check out a backpack from the Nature Center! Use the packs for exploration at pond, the organic garden or in the forests and fields of Warner Park.

Each backpack includes:

  • A net
  • A set of binoculars
  • Nut and seed collection activity
  • Bingo iSpy activities
  • Collecting jar with hand lens and scavenger hunt
  • Colored pencils, pencil and paper (for making detailed drawings)

Check out a FREE purple pack today and hit the trail!

The Nature Center has 3 big packs and 2 little packs. Purple packs are available from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. when the Nature Center is open.

Have Old-fashioned Fun at Nature Play

Remember when you had hours of fun simply playing in a sand pit or dirt pile? Your toys were sticks and rocks. You made mud pies 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.

kids playing outside in cabin and sand pit

Get the Tools to Become a Naturalist

Pick up a naturalist kit at the Nature Center gift shop for $10+tax and explore Warner Park!

Complete the new Junior Naturalist Activity Book and earn a Nature Center patch. From scavenger bingo to creek crawls, challenge your young naturalist to explore a variety of habitats and earn a naturalist badge. Purchase an activity book for only $2 at the Nature Center.

Questions? Email the Nature Center or call at 615-862-8555.