Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Woodlawn Nature Center located?

Woodlawn Nature Center’s woods, nationally certified outdoor classroom, and natural history museum are located within the Elkhart City limits on Woodlawn Avenue, two blocks East of Cassopolis Street.

When is Woodlawn Nature Center open?

Woodlawn Nature Center is open to the public Fridays-Sunday from 12-5 pm. Additionally, the Center is busy throughout the week for programs, field trips, special interest groups, and member use of the facility.

What is the mission of Woodlawn Nature Center?

The mission of Woodlawn Nature Center is to connect people with nature, natural history, and the environment.

What is offered at Woodlawn Nature Center?

Inside Woodlawn Nature Center find a dinosaur digging cave, a wildlife viewing window, fish native to our area, a recreated wigwam with extensive Native artifacts, a tribute to Indiana’s natural history, insect collection, loose parts play area, musical instruments from around the world, mammals, birds, and much more! Be sure to say hi to the Eastern Box Turtle!

Outside Woodlawn Nature Center find a developing, nationally certified outdoor classroom and playscape with nature art, messy materials, digging, water, open play, climbing, and other areas for children to connect with nature as part of a nationally certified outdoor classroom. There are also 10 acres of woods with trails winding throughout.

What is the target audience of Woodlawn Nature Center?

Woodlawn’s target audience is people in the greater Michiana area who want to learn more about nature, including programming for families with children, seasoned adults, school groups, etc.

How is Woodlawn Nature Center funded?

While some revenue is generated through programming and membership fees, Woodlawn Nature Center relies on generous support from individuals in our community.

What is the history of Woodlawn Nature Center?

Woodlawn Nature Center celebrated 50 years in Elkhart in 2015. Dorothy Greenleaf Boynton donated the land to the city. The Nature Center was built soon after. The area has continuously operated since the beginning to provide natural services to the community.

What is Woodlawn Nature Center’s relationship with the City of Elkhart?

The City of Elkhart leases the building to Woodlawn Nature Council, the governing body of Woodlawn Nature Center and a 501c3. While the city of Elkhart helps with some aspects of operation such as trash pick up and occasional maintenance, Woodlawn Nature Council provides operating funds, programming, cleaning, and the vision of the Center.

Why do people visit Woodlawn Nature Center?

People visit the Nature Center to connect with nature. They enjoy their visits with the following feedback:

-Great place to let your kids explore even when they can’t explore outside!

-This place is great entertainment when you want to have fun close! They have a few pretty peaceful trails, a small park, and a really amazing nature center.

-A hidden gem in Elkhart and a must-see, especially for homeschoolers!

-The teachers are so patient and NURTURING. Very creative with activities and well structured.

-After preschool my child was so much more aware and excited about things in nature .

-My girls have really shown more interest in being outdoors.

-Nature Preschool has given my children an opportunity to discover that they can learn about the natural world in a fun, hands-on way. They have been inspired to want to learn more, which is every parent’s hope.

What are Woodlawn’s 3 biggest needs?

Woodlawn Nature Center needs funding to run quality programming.

  1. Educational Program Funds
  2. Improvements to Exhibits and Facility
  3. Annual Funds

How can I help Woodlawn Nature Center?

Woodlawn Nature Center needs community support to survive and thrive. There are many ways, small and large, to make a real impact. Many are tax deductible. Here are some ways to help:

  • Become a member
  • Volunteer or serve on the board
  • Direct donations
  • Help with Woodlawn’s wish list
  • Carry out a service project
  • Make a lasting, legacy donation directly to Woodlawn or through Woodlawn’s ECCF fund

How can I make a donation?

Donations can be made in a variety of ways:

  • Online at
  • By mail–604 Woodlawn Ave. Elkhart, IN, 46514
  • In person at Woodlawn Nature Center
  • Other arrangements with a board member

Thank You for Supporting YOUR Nature Center!

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