Nisqually Reach Nature Center, Olympia

#5 of 17 in Parks in Olympia
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Educational Site
We have three AWESOME salt water aquariums in the Nature Center with a wide variety of species from South Puget Sound including Sea Stars, Sea Cucumbers, Dungeness Crabs, Red Rock Crabs, Anemones, and much more! We're open to the public Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Other exhibits include over 30 bird taxidermies, fossils, animal pelts, and much, much more. Come check us out!

NRNC has been offering estuarine environmental education at Luhr Beach since 1982. Through the years, our emphasis has changed from general public outreach to our current focus on providing supplemental classroom, laboratory, and field trip opportunities for schools in Thurston and Pierce counties and beyond. In a typical year, upwards of 2,000 school kids, mostly in grades 5 through 12, visit the Nature Center with their teachers and parents. We also support and sponsor estuarine research opportunities for South Puget Sound college students.

We also host and perform a variety of research from the Nature Center within South Puget Sound. This includes Forage Fish surveys, Pigeon Guillemot surveys, and more. NRNC is the site proponent for the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve and we help support research and outreach about the reserve.

We receive use of our building through a cooperative agreement with the Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, which also maintains a boat launch here at Luhr Beach.

We are organized as a nonprofit corporation, with 501 (c) (3) status. We are governed by a board of directors with members drawn from the local business community, higher education institutions, and state resource management agencies.
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Nisqually Reach Nature Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
53 reviews
  • The place is tricky to locate until you’ve visited a couple of times. The road leading to the waterfront is at the bottom of a steep hill with limited parking space. It is however a great place to...  more »
  • Great place to take a long or short walk on a clear, summer day if you want to enjoy a great view of southern Puget Sound. Some wildlife are usually visible so a nice added bonus!  more »
  • Fabulous location. Marvelous and knowledgable staff, including the amazing Director! Great summer classes for students. All around, tremendous contributions to the Nisqually Reach area. Thanks for all you have done and are doing!
  • This is a wonderful treasure that most folks may not know about. A great place to learn about the amazing ecosystem we have in our back yards with the nisqually delta. Bring the kids. Fun and interesting for the whole family.

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