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Rochester Local

Now OPEN! Nature Center at Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

oxbow park nature center
Oxbow Nature Center

Have you heard? Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo has added an incredible new Nature Center to the park! After a years-long construction period, the official Grand Opening of the Nature Center happened on May 5, 2023.

The new Nature Center is a celebration of the mission of Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo of compassionate animal care and environmental education. Here are some of the amenities and features of the new Nature Center:

 

oxbow park nature center
Exhibit Hall
oxbow park nature center
Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall

The new Nature Center Exhibit Hall has expanded live animal displays, educational exhibits about the geology, plant life, and animal life in SE Minnesota, and plenty of place for exploring and play! Wildlife viewing areas provide a place to relax. From these viewing areas visitors can watch the birds at the birdfeeders, see birds and butterflies in the bird-friendly native plant areas, and watch toads, frogs, dragonflies, birds and more around the pond.

oxbow park nature center
Wildlife Viewing Areas

oxbow park nature center

 

Event & Classroom Space

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo are regular hosts to schools and groups of all sizes for field trips and education. The Nature Center features flexible event space can be converted into 3 classrooms, providing space for over 150 people! The event and classroom space has access to the outdoors through the prairie terrace, an outdoor firepit area, its own restrooms, and a catering kitchen. These new additions provide Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo much-needed space for events and education.

oxbow park nature center

oxbow park nature center

Expanded Restrooms & Drinking Water Fountains

As Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo continue to grow and expand their offerings to the community, support for visitors was much needed. The new Nature Center offers expanded restrooms accessible from inside the Nature Center, and also restrooms accessible outdoors from the Zoo, making it easy for Zoo visitors. With additional drinking water fountains, indoor and outdoor seating, and rest areas, visitors will find the park and zoo even more accessible and comfortable.

Native Plant Restoration

Part of Oxbow Park’s mission is to restore native plantlife and preserve it for generations to come. The Nature Center construction kept this in the forefront of mind when planning the future layout. The finished project has large spaces dedicated to native flora and fauna including:

  • Native Woodland Raingarden
  • Restored Prairie land
  • Alternative lawns demonstration area with native trees, no-mow fescue, and pollinator lawn
  • Savannah Restoration Berm

oxbow park nature center

Equipment Rental Station & Staff Offices

The Nature Center features an Equipment Rental Station to provide visitors with gear that they need to get out and explore the park’s many trails. It also contains expanded staff offices for those who support the day-to-day operations of the park and zoo.

oxbow park nature center
Equipment Rental Room

Make a trip to Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo part of your plans, and see the new Nature Center. You won’t be disappointed!

 

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