Since 1976, the John Janzen Nature Centre's interactive exhibits, educational programming and special events have encouraged visitors towards a greater awareness of and engagement with the wonders of nature that surround us.
The current renovations of the Nature Centre facilities have been designed to create even more ways for visitors to experience for themselves the joy of discovering nature in an urban environment.
The John Janzen Nature Centre invites visitors of all ages to have fun while learning more about the importance of Edmonton's natural spaces.
We offer registered programs year-round for schools and groups, child and family courses, birthdays and daycamps. See Programs, Courses & Camps for more information.
Exhibits and Displays
The Nature Centre offers informative exhibits and interactive educational displays including:
This indoor play space re-creates local wildlife habitat in a way that children can learn about nature from the perspective of an animal. Crawling and climbing structures are designed for children up to age 10, although all ages are welcome to explore the rest of the Tegler Discovery Zone.
Welcome to the Edmonton Urban Ecology exhibit room! Recently renovated, this exhibit is a must-see for the whole family. Here at the John Janzen Nature Centre, we have brought the outdoors inside, so you can play and learn all year ‘round! Check out the Life on a Log, several live animal exhibits, and touch a real fossil!
Have you ever seen a honey bee up close? Inside the Tegler Discovery Zone, we have a working bee hive that has been busy all year long. Try to find the queen bee and her attendant bees, and while you’re there, learn a little bit about the importance of Alberta’s local wild bees!
Examine pond life up close and personal at the Prairie Pond. This water oasis attracts several different species of animals including blackbirds, ducks, frogs, and salamanders! It may be quieter in the wintertime with all the creatures hiding under the ice.
This outdoor exhibit demonstrates how you can incorporate composting into your waste disposal routine. Learn the composting process and sample composting units designed for large and small yards.
Compost School offers information, courses and programs.
The John Janzen Nature Centre, Canada’s oldest municipally-operated nature centre, officially opened its doors on October 6, 1976. It was the project of the late John Janzen, Superintendent of Edmonton’s Parks and Recreation Department from 1966-1972, who played a key role in the protection of river valley lands as parks.
When it opened, the John Janzen Nature Centre offered courses and workshops, Sunday walks, junior naturalist activities and an exhibit room featuring touch tables and living displays, with programs run mainly by volunteers.
By 1988, the centre occupied a unique educational niche, focusing its programming specifically on nature appreciation in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
The Edmonton Nature Centres Foundation (ENCF) was formed in 1979 as a non-profit organization to support the John Janzen Nature Centre.
The ENCF is responsible for developing a vision for the nature centre, then planning and implementing projects to carry out that vision.
Some examples of the ENCF’s projects have been the redevelopment of the pond, maintenance of the compost display, maintenance of the nature trails, development of a native plant garden, and the current expansion of the nature centre facilities.
Visitors interested in donating to the ENCF can do so at the John Janzen Nature Centre or by contacting the ENCF directly.