The Aldo Leopold Nature Center, with its gentle, glaciated patchwork of oak savanna, wetlands, prairies, and woodlands provides a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city life that surrounds it. Here, visitors are invited to explore local flora and fauna on the nature trails, visit the Children’s Shack and explore our Nature Nook play spaces as well as participate in family-friendly public programs.
Visit us! We love visitors at ALNC! Our trails are free and open to the public from dawn until dusk. Our Nature Nook play spaces, lobby, and restrooms are open to the public at no cost.
Check out our Visit Us page to discover all of the cool things to do as you plan your next visit!/
Our hiking trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk!
To protect our wildlife, conservation areas, and other visitors, we do not allow dogs or other pets on our grounds.
Leashed service animals, marked as such, are allowed on trails and public areas of the facility.
We welcome the public back to our facility on weekdays (M-F 9am-4pm),
with weekend public hours coming in the future.
Because we are a childcare facility and still following public health protocols, we will retain a few restrictions, including requiring masking indoors and limited access to some public offerings and areas of our facility. We may also have to adjust our hours or access on short notice. We appreciate your patience as we work through changes in staffing and schedules, and work to find a healthy balance of access and safety for our community.
Check our Calendar of Events to view public events and guided programs.
Interested in EMPOWERING children with the countless benefits of nature?
Click here for information on becoming an ALNC Member!
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. If you have specific questions or needs, please call 608.221.0404, ext. 0.
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 Community Ethics & Nature page.
To protect our wildlife, conservation areas and other visitors, we do not allow dogs or other pets on our grounds. Leashed service animals, marked as such, are allowed on trails and public areas of the facility.
Interested in taking your family, engagement, graduation, prom, or senior photos at ALNC? Please do! This public land is for all to use. We simply ask that you avoid any educational programs, events, or facility rentals that may be taking place and that you follow Leave No Trace principles. We gladly accept donations to help maintain our facility and grounds.
For wedding photos, large-scale photo shoots or access to specific locations, please coordinate ahead of time by calling (608) 221-0404 x 0 or emailing email@example.com.
To protect our students and visitors, the use of drones is not allowed on/over nature center property. In some cases, ALNC may engage in drone usage for promotional or educational purposes. For more information, or to inquire about approval for this, please contact our Marketing & Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We work to conserve and restore our grounds in the spirit of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic for healthy ecosystems, habitat for native flora and fauna, educational programs, and the enjoyment of our community. Our staff and land stewards employ the teachings of Aldo Leopold and other best practices for land management, including seasonal prescribed burns. For more information on why, when and how we burn, please review our information on prescribed burns.
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 campus, 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.
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is committed to sustainable practices and technologies. Our facility showcases innovative renewable energy systems, building techniques, and sustainable practices and initiatives including use of solar energy, water efficiency systems, sustainable siting, and more. Click here for more information!
Winter Weather Policies
As a general rule, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center will be closed and programs canceled if the City of Madison public transit services are discontinued (full service cancellation) due to inclement weather, however, we reserve the right to close at our own discretion. If a closing occurs, a notice will be put on our homepage as well as on our Facebook page.
Please consider these alternative transportation options for visiting us!
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.