Lakeview Nature Center

EXPLOREThe begining of the trails through the prairie at Lakeview Nature Center

"To promote stewardship and conservation of the environment through experiential education."


Adjacent to Spring Lake Park and nestled in over 350 acres including prairie, wetland, timber, and grass lands, Lakeview Nature Center is an ideal place to learn about native Illinois plants and animals. Enjoy hikes through 55 acres of restored prairie and as you relax, see if you can find Lakeview Nature Area's resident families of beaver, fox, deer, turkey and more.

When planning for the center began it was no question that the building itself needed to stay as true to origin as the nature and prairie that surrounded it. Framing of the nature center is hand hewn oak timbers, that are mortise and tenon with no nails holding the framework together, only wooden pegs. This more natural build results in a beautiful woodland aroma, a warm country feel, and a unique ambiance to retreat with friends and family in. Lakeview Nature Center's visual displays in conjunction with hands on programming emphasize exploration and investigation of the environment with an integrative direction.

Come Learn what can be Discovered at Lakeview Nature Center.

Young girl reaches for a bubble during Young Scientist Camp at Lakeview Nature Center
Campers sit on the main floor of Lakeview Nature Center enjoy their balloon creations
Campers enrolled in Young Scientist Camp experiment with dry ice at Lakeview Nature Center


Lakeview Nature Center has developed new programming initiatives to inspire the minds and peak the interests of those who enroll in them. These programs focus on education, hands on experiences, and examining the natural world of Midwestern Illinois.

NEW at Lakeview Nature Center!

Lakeview Nature Workshops: Using nature to inspire our creative minds


Join us at Lakeview Nature Center for your next field trip or party! We offer a variety of programs with an emphasis on local flora and fauna, environmental and ecology studies, prairie topics and more. Check out our list of year-round programs for specific topics and age groups. We are also happy to tailor a program to better fit your group’s needs. In addition, we also offer special seasonal programs that collaborate with our changing prairie landscape.

Most programs are held both inside and outside, so participants should dress accordingly. Longer program hours and hands-on, take home projects are also available for an additional fee. Groups over 30 may require special accommodations for certain programs, please contact us early for options. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.

Year Round programs
seasonal programs

Facility Rental Rates


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