Great Plains Nature Center

Great Plains Nature Center A Kansas wildlife habitat in the city. Bird watching. Paved hiking trails. Discovery programs. Indoor wildlife observatory. Connecting people with nature.
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The Great Plains Nature Center is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and the City of Wichita Department of Park and Recreation. We offer experiences that connect people to the environment, wildlife and conservation measures. The adjacent 240-acre Chisholm Creek Park provides our outdoor classroom. More than two miles of wheelchair-accessible trails and boardwalks meander through riparian woodlands, prairies, streams and wetlands. An indoor wildlife observatory lets visitors relax in front of a stream of cattail-ringed wetland, where beaver, muskrat, ducks and graceful egrets make regular appearances.

Operating as usual

The Inktober Challenge. Art on the Trail is putting on a new face this year as we delve into the artistic celebration of...
09/13/2020

The Inktober Challenge. Art on the Trail is putting on a new face this year as we delve into the artistic celebration of #Inktober with an inky, outdoor art challenge. Connect with nature and exercise your creative muscles all month long. Great for all ages. Follow the link for more info on how to participate: https://gpnc.org/programs/art-on-the-trail/

Pollinator Party is hitting the trails! September 14 - 19, take a walk in the park with our local pollinators and the pl...
09/10/2020

Pollinator Party is hitting the trails! September 14 - 19, take a walk in the park with our local pollinators and the plants they love. Keep an eye out for pollinators hard at work, sidewalk games, and get to know your local wildflowers both inside the building and out in the park in this on-your-own enhanced visitor experience.

Turtle rats!
09/09/2020

Turtle rats!

Did you know armadillos are actually quite hairy, especially on their bellies? These little hairs aren't particularly good at keeping them warm, but do help them feel the world around them since they are mainly active at night (but can also be seen at dawn and dusk like this little guy).

Bonus fun fact: only three-banded armadillos can curl into a ball, and since we only have the nine-banded in Kansas, you won't be seeing that behavior without a road trip.

09/09/2020

Live storytime! Lyndzee reads Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland.

We will be closed on Monday, Sept 7 in recognition of Labor Day. We encourage everyone to get outside to enjoy the last ...
09/04/2020

We will be closed on Monday, Sept 7 in recognition of Labor Day. We encourage everyone to get outside to enjoy the last few days of summer. Don't forget to wear white pants before Labor Day. Or don't. Pants are the worst.

Have you ever fished for carp (on purpose)? Several of us hadn't until yesterday, and WOW was it fun! Many people consid...
09/03/2020

Have you ever fished for carp (on purpose)? Several of us hadn't until yesterday, and WOW was it fun! Many people consider carp to be "trash fish," well we say turn trash into treasure! We plan to eat the carp we caught for lunch today, check our Facebook Story over the lunch hour to get first-hand accounts for how this fish tastes.

Many of you are familiar with our abundance of carp in the waterways that weave through Chisholm Creek Park. These non-native fish are considered "ecosystem engineers" because they'll modify waterways and muddy the water, taking away essential food for native fishes. It was decided that some of the carp at Island Pond needed to be removed so GPNC, KDWPT staff, and ACE Interns from Quivira National Wildlife Refuge set to work fishing for carp. These fish were initially introduced into N. America as a food fish in the 1800s, making carp one of the oldest invasive species we have.

09/02/2020

Story time! Rachel reads the true story of a little bison calf born at Konza Prairie: The Autumn Calf by Jill Haukos

Thank you to everyone who gave a "hoot!" and participated in our online auction. Your generous donations will help us co...
08/31/2020

Thank you to everyone who gave a "hoot!" and participated in our online auction. Your generous donations will help us connect people of all ages to nature and provide care for our animal ambassadors. Our program animals, our staff, and our volunteers THANK YOU!

If you missed our auction you can give all year-round https://gpnc.org/donate/

Our online auction closes in just 30 mins! You can help us provide free, outdoor and wildlife education to the community...
08/31/2020
Event Page | Passport to Nature

Our online auction closes in just 30 mins! You can help us provide free, outdoor and wildlife education to the community by participating in our auction. All proceeds support our mission and help us take care of our animal ambassadors.

accelevents.com/e/passporttonature

DescriptionParty on the Plains!This year, the annual in-person Passport to Nature, Party on the Plains, event has been canceled to protect the health of the nature center staff and all its su

08/31/2020
Passport to Nature Live: Last Chance!

Learn a few new skills and keep an eye on that item you really want while we count down the last hour of our online fundraiser! All proceeds from our auction, including 9 incredible trips, benefit our educational mission at the Great Plains Nature Center. Auction: bit.ly/PassporttoNature
Auction ends: 9:00pm

In 60 minutes we're excited to wrap-up Passport to Nature with you! Join us on Facebook live at 8 pm where we'll be show...
08/31/2020

In 60 minutes we're excited to wrap-up Passport to Nature with you! Join us on Facebook live at 8 pm where we'll be showing you how to make your own fire starter, how to make sumac lemonade, a diy worm farm and we'll be closing out our online fundraiser!

Don't forget that we've partnered up with American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund to bring you 9 fabulous vacation trip packages! Invest in your next vacation by investing in our mission!

Just because your meetings are on Zoom doesn’t mean you can’t attend them in style. Local artisan, Doug Cravens, handcra...
08/29/2020

Just because your meetings are on Zoom doesn’t mean you can’t attend them in style. Local artisan, Doug Cravens, handcrafted these sterling silver and gemstone pieces, and you can add them to your jewelry arsenal while supporting the work we do at the Great Plains Nature Center. View them in our online auction here bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Our Facebook Live Passport to Nature Wrap-Up Party is 24 hours away! Hope on the ole interweb at 8pm tomorrow night and ...
08/29/2020

Our Facebook Live Passport to Nature Wrap-Up Party is 24 hours away! Hope on the ole interweb at 8pm tomorrow night and help us bring our annual fundraiser to close. We'll also be demonstrating fire starters, diy worm farms, and how to make sumac lemonade.

Don't forget that we've partnered up with American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund to bring you 9 exclusive travel packages. Invest in your next vacation by investing in our mission!

It’s never too early to start planning the family holiday photo. Whether your style is goofy, classic, or somewhere in b...
08/29/2020

It’s never too early to start planning the family holiday photo. Whether your style is goofy, classic, or somewhere in between, Christopher Clark can make your portrait dreams come true. You can nab this photo session that includes an 11x14 linen textured wall print of your favorite photo from the session. Click this link to be transported to another universe, just kidding, but it will take you to our online auction page where you can find a little joy in supporting our work bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Exercise is important to get those endorphins going! Get your sweat on in fitness classes, then mop it up and rehydrate ...
08/28/2020

Exercise is important to get those endorphins going! Get your sweat on in fitness classes, then mop it up and rehydrate with an Orangetheory fitness towel and water bottle. You can take home this bundle while supporting our mission. Bid on the Orangetheory package and maybe the giant bottle of wine so you have something to sip on when you’re relaxing post-workout. Check out the auction at bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Remember when we said we had some great auction items lined up this year? We weren't kidding and are excited to be partn...
08/28/2020

Remember when we said we had some great auction items lined up this year? We weren't kidding and are excited to be partnering with American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund to bring you 9 exclusive vacation packages.

Discover the elegance of Europe and the spirit of South America in beautiful Buenos Aires! You will visit the balcony where Evita begged the crowd, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” and enjoy sumptuous dining overlooking the private Puerto Moderne where 200-foot yachts are considered small.

Or travel to Tropical Costa Rica. There is nothing like relaxing in the sun, taking a tram ride through the treetops in a verdant rain forest, seeing wildlife close up, and so much more on your Costa Rica escape.
Find your next vacation in our online auction bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Get your friends together in style for your first post-isolation outing with a round trip limo ride to anywhere in the W...
08/28/2020

Get your friends together in style for your first post-isolation outing with a round trip limo ride to anywhere in the Wichita metro area. Bid on the limo ride and take a look at the dinner packages from 6S Steakhouse and Carrabba’s while you’re at it: bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Key West, Iceland, Peru?? Why dream of these places when you can actually GO?! Bid on these remarkable trips and others ...
08/28/2020

Key West, Iceland, Peru?? Why dream of these places when you can actually GO?! Bid on these remarkable trips and others during our Passport to Nature auction happening RIGHT NOW. Invest in your next vacation by investing in our mission. Be sure to get your bids in by 9 pm on Sunday to win the vacation of a lifetime.

Escape to Tropical Key West
Relax, unwind, and let go in America’s very own tropical paradise. At the
Southernmost tip of the U.S., Key West is a place of sheer tranquility,
soothing sunshine, sparkling water, swaying palms, spectacular sunsets, and total bliss. It’s time to treat yourself to 4 days and 3 nights of pure luxury as balmy ocean breezes warm your body and soothe your soul.

Iceland - The Land of Fire and Ice
Discover wild wonders in the land of the Vikings! Glistening glaciers, therapeutic hot springs, thundering waterfalls, and amazing wildlife make Iceland the “Land of Fire and Ice.”

Peru: Land of the Incas & World Capital of Cuisine
If you love incredible sightseeing and fine gourmet cuisine, this trip to Peru is the perfect blend of breathtaking vistas, historic treasures, and world-class culinary pleasures. On this adventure for two, you’ll discover how its ancient wonders and world-class flavors make Peru one of the hottest and “hippest” destinations in the world.

S/O to American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund for partnering with us and bringing you these amazing trips.

We love Alyson and our friends over at KAKE News! Thank you for sharing this memory!
08/27/2020

We love Alyson and our friends over at KAKE News! Thank you for sharing this memory!

Awesome Blossom, I've adopted an opossum!

Well, sort of... This picture from a few years ago is from when I got to meet Blossom the opposum who serves as a program animal at the Great Plains Nature Center! She helps teach people about why it's so important to have opossums in the world. You can help her and her friends out! Wouldn't you love to feed a mouse (or just a strawberry) to an opposum?!

Like so many other organizations, Great Plains Nature Center had to take their fundraiser virtual this year. Their Passport to Nature is giving people a way to bid on all kinds of neat things like trips, gift cards, art and more. You can also 'adopt' an animal like Blossom! By doing so, you'll help feed these animals for a month and have your name displayed on their exhibit. A link to the virtual event is below and there are still a few days to take part!

https://www.accelevents.com/e/PASSPORTTONATURE?fbclid=IwAR31omt_U-axwAt8Ap6-wv7beBk4gVSYjVdW5JZCIiiIIWGo89Hagh8284Q#Auction

08/27/2020
Lunch Bunch @ GPNC

For Lunch Bunch this month, Allan provides a crash course on the unusual lives of freshwater mussels. Calling all seafood fans!

08/26/2020
Support our animals and our mission

Support our animals and our mission this week by partaking in our online auction. You can also adopt one of our animal ambassadors and help us feed them for an entire month.

Follow the link to help us today! bit.ly/PassporttoNature

08/26/2020

Help us reach our goal by participating in our online auction. Here's our big announcement!

Bit.ly/PassporttoNature

We've got a special Passport to Nature announcement coming up at noon! Grab your lunch and tune in for some exciting new...
08/26/2020

We've got a special Passport to Nature announcement coming up at noon! Grab your lunch and tune in for some exciting news.

08/26/2020
Story time: The Bug GIrl

Rachel reads the story of Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the first women scientists to study insects in a time when no one would listen to someone like her. This is "The Bug Girl: Maria Merian's Scientific Vision," by Sarah Glenn Marsh.

A 9-day trip to the Greece and Greek Islands Odyssey? Yes, please! Thanks to our partners American Fundraising Foundatio...
08/25/2020

A 9-day trip to the Greece and Greek Islands Odyssey? Yes, please! Thanks to our partners American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund these incredible travel packages are just a few clicks away from being yours.

Less than 24 hours until the bidding opens for these once-in-a-lifetime travel packages! With a 3-year travel window, invest in our mission today while investing in your next vacation! Here are just a few options for you to choose from.

We miss having him in our building but we're so glad he's comfy in his new home at the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit. Be sure ...
08/25/2020

We miss having him in our building but we're so glad he's comfy in his new home at the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit. Be sure to stop by and say hello during the daily 11am feedings!

This is Odin, an eastern screech owl, enjoying a tour of the exhibit. He was struck by a car and ended up loosing an eye.

Screech owls are small birds and are in the Wichita area all year. Most of the ones in the region are grey in color which allows them to blend in with the bark of trees. Where trees with reddish bark are more abundant the screech owls with red feathers tend to be more common.

Odin will be one of the ambassadors to come out during feeding time programs which are still daily at 11:00 a.m.

Our Passport to Nature auction has several spectacular options this year but we understand if some of the items don't fi...
08/25/2020

Our Passport to Nature auction has several spectacular options this year but we understand if some of the items don't fit everyone's style. If you find yourself not being drawn to any of the auction items but you still want to support your favorite nature center, consider helping us with our Fund A Needs! You could adopt one of our many animal ambassadors, sponsor a whole class to come out for a visit, or even have a personalized experience with our bird residents all while enjoying breakfast (Breakfast with the Birds). https://www.accelevents.com/e/PassporttoNature#FundaNeed

Less than 48 hours before the opening of our Exclusive Travel Auction! Meet us at noon on Facebook Live this Wednesday t...
08/24/2020

Less than 48 hours before the opening of our Exclusive Travel Auction! Meet us at noon on Facebook Live this Wednesday to learn more about these special trips. Don't forget that each trip offered comes with a 3-year travel window!

In the meantime, feel free to picture yourself standing on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland or sitting on a veranda overlooking the Meditteranean sea. We've partnered up with American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund to bring you 9 exclusive trips and we can't wait to see who gets to experience them.

08/23/2020
Passport to Nature Online Auction Kickoff

Kick back and relax with us as we begin our online Passport to Nature Fundraising Auction! Special guest Blossom the Opossum will be choosing our pre-registration winner. Support local nature education and get some cool stuff out of it.

Place your bids: bit.ly/PassporttoNature

Our Passport to Nature Kick-Off Event starts in two hours! Hopefully, this one will be ready to get out of bed by then.W...
08/23/2020

Our Passport to Nature Kick-Off Event starts in two hours! Hopefully, this one will be ready to get out of bed by then.

We've got an exciting game planned and our resident ambassador opossum will pick our pre-registration winner! See you soon on Facebook Live :)

Mark you calendars! Wednesday, our Exclusive Travel Auction, will be open for bidding. Each of the 9 trip collections wi...
08/21/2020

Mark you calendars! Wednesday, our Exclusive Travel Auction, will be open for bidding. Each of the 9 trip collections will include: 3 years with no blackout dates to travel, round-trip airfare for two and so much more! Which trip is your favorite?
American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund

08/20/2020
Passport to Vacation

We asked you “Where do you want to go on your next vacation?” The results are in! You will have a chance to win any of these bucket list trips! Each trip will come with 3 years with no blackout dates to travel and roundtrip airfare for 2. We’ve got Greece, Ireland, Argentina, and six other amazing destinations for you to choose from.

American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund

Being cooped up has got us thinking about getting away. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go for your next v...
08/19/2020

Being cooped up has got us thinking about getting away. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go for your next vacation?

Our staff took a vote and we'd love to go to Iceland for the scenic views (and the sheep).

We have a big surprise announcement coming next Wednesday during our Passport to Nature online auction. Stay tuned for details on how you can invest in your next vacation by investing in our mission.

gpnc.org/programs/passport-to-nature-online/

American Fundraising Foundation - AmFund

08/19/2020

Join us for Storytime! Emily will read Pond Circle by Betsy Franco

Has 2020 got you saying any of the following?-“Why didn’t I become a chef before this pandemic?”-“Why do we own this man...
08/18/2020

Has 2020 got you saying any of the following?
-“Why didn’t I become a chef before this pandemic?”
-“Why do we own this many dishes? Who even bought all of these? I’m not cleaning this up.”
-“Yeah, I could use a drink.”

It sounds like you might be in desperate need of a night off. Kick up your heels and grab some top-notch culinary fare from 6S Steakhouse or Vora Restaurant European in College Hill (Good news: both offer take-out and delivery options if you feel like your night off should still involve sweat pants). Pair your super-classy dinner with some signature bourbon and other libations courtesy of The Monarch, or tap into your inner moonshiner with a homemade gin kit.

If a night on the town with friends and family is what you really need, there’s always the private wine-tasting dinner for eight at Carrabba’s! Go all out and tack on the limo ride- the only vehicle long enough to allow social distancing.

Everything tastes sweeter when you know that the money goes to helping Great Plains Nature Center to continue providing exceptional engagement to the Wichita area and beyond, at no cost to the public.

Join us for our kick-off event this Sunday at 6pm via Facebook Live. Registration is free, find more info here https://gpnc.org/programs/passport-to-nature-online/

Address

6232 E 29th St N
Wichita, KS
67220

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(316) 683-5499

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Our Story

The Great Plains Nature Center is a free facility that is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the City of Wichita Department of Park and Recreation and Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center. We offer experiences that connect people to the environment, wildlife and conservation measures. The adjacent 240-acre Chisholm Creek Park provides our outdoor classroom. More than two miles of wheelchair-accessible trails and boardwalks meander through riparian woodlands, prairies, streams and wetlands. An indoor wildlife observatory lets visitors relax in front of a stream of cattail-ringed wetland, where beaver, muskrat, ducks and graceful egrets make regular appearances.

Nearby museums


Comments

Can anyone tell me what flowers are blooming at the nature center now? I saw some very tall yellow ones near the water; purple ones, green ones with a purple star center. Thank you.
What was this little guy I found in front of my garage door (East of McConnell AFB a bit)
Can anyone there tell me what kind of a toad this is? It was inside a plant on the east side of Wichita.
This question is for Rachael. We have driven out of town three times now. Once to Cheney and twice to Mulvane. Something very important has been missing in the Sky and on the fences. Birds. I mean birds. Not a hawk. Not a sparrow. Nothing. Where are they? I have never not seen anything like this before and I know my birds. Any ideas?
This is stuck in my window well. What is it? How should I get it out?
Does anyone know if we are able to walk the trails today even though the center is closed on Sundays?
I am so glad for the resources y'all provide. My son likes to get the pocket books when we come. We took the butterfly one to Monarch Mania this past season. And today, I used the Back Yard Bird pocket guide to identify some Dark-Eyed Junco birds that have been visiting my yard the past couple days. Thank you for being a great educational and resourceful place for my family 💚
Please help me identify the fruit in this tree along the South side of North Chisholm Creek Park. My mom believes it’s some sort of plum...
These are fun
What is this growing on my stump??
We found a feather explosion in our back yard today, not sure if it happened overnight or during the morning. Looks like mourning dove feathers...do you think an owl or hawk caught a dove and ate it on top of our swing set? There was no carcass left...I would guess a cat would leave a carcass if it caught a bird. And I can’t imagine it would eat it one top of our swing set.
Todd’s turtles try eating treats!