We invite you out for a hike to explore the magic of the natural world, our trails are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

We ask that all staff and visitors follow our mask policy to help keep everyone safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Please stay tuned and do not hesitate to contact us with questions at

*Please note our facility’s date of reopen to the public is based on public health recommendations and other factors.

History & Mission

Change is in the air!

Through Strategic Planning and in the spirit of Aldo Leopold, we’ve affirmed our mission to engage and educate current and future generations, empowering them to respect, protect, and enjoy the natural world. 

In order to better serve our community, we have redesigned our space to increase our impact, improve our programs and better accommodate diverse populations – the first steps of an ongoing process to expand access. Visit Us for more information on access and to see these exciting changes.

Interested in learning more about our exciting new initiatives? Explore our Bridge to the Future: Strategic Planning Initiatives brochure.

Established in 1994, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) is an independent, non-profit organization. Through hands-on interactive programs, ALNC is leading the way to engage, educate and empower the next generation of stewards of the land for a healthy, happy and sustainable future.

ALNC offers many opportunities to connect with nature both indoors and out. In addition to our special events and education programs, our indoor children’s exhibits provide a special place for your child to learn about Monarch Butterflies and Prairies, Native Fish and Wetlands and Woodlands. Head outside and explore our wetland, woodland and prairie trails, open sun-up to sun-down, 7 days a week! Introduce your preschool-aged child to a safe and natural world with Wonder Bugs, our parent-child program, or enroll them in Aldo Leopold Nature Preschool. Engage your older children with nature through our Vacation Day, Home School programs and Summer Camp programs. Check out our upcoming, family-friendly public programs or visit us any day to explore nature with your family and friends.

See you on the trails!

We believe…

When we are thoughtful about being inclusive in how we engage and educate, we help students to know that nature is for everyone and is a safe place to learn and explore.

When we engage students in positive, hands-on experiences in nature, their curiosity is sparked and a lifelong connection to nature is made.

When we educate students, nurturing a better understanding of the world around them, we foster an environmentally literate generation empowered to take positive ecological, social and fiscal actions.

When we – as Aldo Leopold wrote – “teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands,” empowered students take individual actions and create meaningful change – change that is critical to the sustainability and health of the natural world.

When we strategically and thoughtfully work with community partners, we help them fulfill their goals while increasing our capacity to engage and educate students, creating healthy and sustainable communities everywhere.

When we care for the land and are mindful of Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, we are equipped to engage and educate students about the world around them – empowering them to preserve the land, providing a sanctuary for human, plant and animal communities.

ALNC is leading the way to ensure visitors of all ages and backgrounds have opportunities to connect with nature by offering positive and constructive learning opportunities that capture their interest, engage their senses and teach them to appreciate the interconnectedness of all living things. For more information on how we are expanding access, please see our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEAs) Policy Initiative.

Located in Monona, ALNC works to engage, educate, and empower students through programming and services designed primarily for school age children, ages 2-14. We reach these students, and others, through their teachers and families, our community partners, donors, and volunteers, through School Field Trips, Summer Camps, Wonder Bugs Preschool Programs, Homeschool Programs, After School Programs, Vacation Day Programs, Scout Programs, Public Programs and Adult & Teacher Programs.

Through these programs, ALNC fosters admiration and respect for nature, and encourages sustainability and stewardship of the land.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center