Miles of trails are open to the public from sunup to sundown, year-round. There is no cost to explore the prairies, woodlands, and wetlands at the Main, Marie, and Lilly properties.
Yes, groups are welcome! For the safety and consideration of Dodge staff and students, all prearranged and organized groups of 10 or more people (including children) must call in advance to request permission for use of outdoor facilities and spaces. Groups must adhere to the following guidelines:
– Groups must provide contact information of a group member responsible for the group while on-site.
– If a group encounters Dodge staff and students on-site, please allow them space to teach and learn—guided groups have paid for an educational experience.
– Groups must supervise children to ensure they are treating native wildlife and landscapes with respect.
– Dodge Nature Center is a carry-in, carry-out facility. Please keep our grounds clean and free of debris by taking with you what you brought.
– Groups must follow all visitor guidelines.
Please call 651-455-4531 or email email@example.com to schedule your group visit. Certain fees may apply.
If a naturalist-guided program would better suit your needs, learn more about our offered programs below.
You’re welcome to bring food to eat while you are exploring Dodge—there is no food available for purchase on-site. Please keep food away from the barn and pasture areas. Dodge Nature Center is a carry-in, carry-out, zero-waste facility. Please keep the grounds clean and free of debris by taking with you what you brought.
Local wildlife (turkeys, raccoons, turtles, deer and more) live at the nature center. Resident farm animals and raptors can be viewed at our Main Property. Please keep your hands out of animal pens and stay outside of pasture fences. Dodge offers a variety of nature programs year-round for you to meet and learn about our animal ambassadors.
Dodge’s barn is only open for educational events and programs. Check out the calendar to register for an upcoming public program, or book a field trip for your group.
If you’re visiting Dodge, paved parking is available at the Main Office and Farm Education entrance. These lots can be found at Entrance 1 and 3 on the Main Property map.
For the safety of Dodge staff, students and protecting native wildlife and landscapes, bicycles are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center trails. Bikers please stay on the River to River Greenway County Bike Trail, found along the Main Property’s southern border.
The Lilly Property is the best Dodge location to cross country ski or snowshoe. While we do not create ski trails—guests are invited (and encouraged) to create their own. You are welcome to do this activity at any of the Dodge properties. Dodge does not rent skis or snowshoes.
Dodge operates in many weather conditions. Events and programs will go on, rain or shine! Dodge’s buildings are open by appointment only—we do not encourage hiking on the trails when there is a risk of severe weather.
In the case of severe inclement weather, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool follow the closing guidelines of School District 197. Should District 197 close due to snow or other severe weather, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool will cancel programs, classes, and close offices. Should inclement weather fall on a day when District 197 is not in session (such as a Saturday), Dodge Nature Center staff will communicate changes to program and event participants.
For the safety of Dodge staff, students and protecting native wildlife and landscapes, dogs and other pets are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center property. Service animals are welcome.
All photographers (professional and amateur) who conduct posed photography are required to obtain a media permit. Nature photography is welcome without a permit. Any photo taken at Dodge Nature Center intended for sale or publication will require permission with an applicable fee.
Leave nature discoveries and artifacts where you find them so other visitors can enjoy them. Please do not pick flowers on Dodge property. If you find mushrooms or berries for eating, make sure you have positively identified it before picking. Take care not to trample plants or disturb animals in the area you are foraging. Share the resource by harvesting only what you can use for one meal with your family.
The only smoke seen at the nature center is during a prescribed prairie burn or a campfire program. Smoke and tobacco-free nature centers keep kids and community healthy.
Event and program admission is nonrefundable. Events and programs happen regardless of weather conditions. No full or partial refunds will be given.
Dodge Nature Center is not licensed to take injured animals. If you find an injured or abandoned wild animal, please contact the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota at 651-486-9453.
For the health and safety of the animals that currently live at the nature center, Dodge does not accept donations of live animals.
Dodge Nature Center happily accepts a variety of donations. Please visit the donation page to learn more.
Dodge Nature Center relies on in-kind donations for animal care, office supplies, program supplies, tools, vehicles, lawn care and more. Gifts of taxidermy need to be reviewed by staff before accepted. If you would like to make a donation of goods, please contact the development office at 651-789-5201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.