We love visitors at Aldo Leopold Nature Center!
Visit us seven days a week to connect with nature and exercise your senses in our oak savanna, wetland, prairie, and woodland ecosystems nestled in the heart of beautiful Monona! Located on Femrite Drive, between Monona Drive and Copps Ave, and nestled between Woodland Park and Edna Taylor Conservancy – we are your neighborhood nature center and invite you to come, explore the magic and wonder of the natural world, located in your own backyard.
PLEASE NOTE: As our construction ramps up this spring and into summer, some spaces in and around our facility may be temporarily inaccessible or have limited access, such as our Lobby and indoor Nature Nooks. We are working carefully to ensure safety and maintain the least intrusion and most public access as possible, but we apologize for any dust or inconvenience. We always invite you to call ahead for specific info or status updates before your visit. To learn more about our 2019 renovations and exciting changes, please explore our Bridge to the Future: Strategic Planning Initiatives brochure and visit our Aldo Leopold Nature Preschool page, opening fall 2019.
Hike and explore our award-winning interpretive prairie, pond and woodland trails with our self-guided hikes and Digital Docent: Climate Change Impacts walking tour, free and open daily from dawn until dusk. Stop inside to find information on our Scavenger Hunts, including Scavenger Hunt BINGO, or check out a backpack to participate in our Family Trailside Backpack Program.
Visit our Children’s shack to discover a 3/4 size replica of Aldo Leopold’s Shack – the shack in which he and his family spent many weekends observing and recording the natural world along the Wisconsin River in Sauk county. Not fully staffed, the Children’s shack is open for special events and programming with tours available upon request.
At the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, we know that truly living our mission and reaching as many children, families, educators, conservationists and community members as possible means expanding access now.
In order to better serve our community, we are redesigning our space to increase our impact, improve our programs and better accommodate diverse populations. When you visit ALNC, you will see signs of these changes – the first steps of an ongoing process to expand access – and we are taking great care to work around our existing programs and events.
Explore our indoor Nature Nooks (call ahead to inquire about access during construction)! Designed for the littlest adventurers to engage with prairie, pond and woodland habitats and even learn a bit about Aldo Leopold! Your young child will have hours of fun playing and discovering in our indoor ecosystems with our Catch & Release Fishing stage, Prairie Plant Sensory table and Tree Hollow and Woodland Animal puppets.
Please note: Access to our Exhibit Area, including our Science on a Sphere, Immersion Theater and the Nina Leopold Bradley Family Phenology Center is currently closed. We are updating and rearranging our interactive public spaces and will post updates here – stay tuned!
ALNC is proud to be a part of Nature Net’s Nature Passport program! Get started by picking up this self-guided family program at ALNC or one of the other Nature Net sites throughout South-Central Wisconsin. Discover new places and take your adventures on the road!
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) is dedicated to remaining accessible to the community and general public while making every effort to provide safe and enjoyable experiences for our students, visitors, and staff. For more information on how we are expanding access, please see our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEAs) Policy Initiative. All staff, volunteers, visitors and members of the public shall maintain reasonable personal conduct and decorum while on the premises. Please see our Personal Conduct Policy for more information.
In addition, in keeping with the ALNC’s interest in the environment and human health, we have a smoke-free campus policy, in order to protect this environmental habitat and prevent exposure of this educational facility, its occupants, and visitors to environmental tobacco smoke. There shall be no smoking or use of other tobacco products while on premises either owned, rented by, or under the control of ALNC. This includes, but is not limited to, ALNC’s campuses, facilities, and grounds. Members of the public, including visitors, rental groups, student groups and teachers, and any ALNC staff who accompany them, shall not use tobacco products while on ALNC property or engaged in any ALNC-sponsored activity.
Interested in taking your family, engagement, graduation, prom, or senior photos at ALNC? Please see our Photography Guidelines and submit a Photography Permit. Fees go towards maintaining ALNC’s facility & grounds.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
330 Femrite Drive,
Monona, WI 53716
- Take the South Beltline (Hwy 12-18) to Monona Drive. Exit North and continue past the Monona Drive/Broadway Street intersection.
- Turn East on Femrite Drive and pull into the driveway after the Monona Meadows sign on the North side of the street. There is a sign for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Monona’s Woodland Park.
- Follow the driveway up the hill; the Nature Center is located just south of the main parking lot. All buses must park in the first parking lot. For schools, this is also where students will greet the Naturalists.