Director's Message: Water, Wings, and Wonder

– by Jonathan Creel, Executive Director

This winter was phenomenal. As the snow continued to fall, children bundled up and donned snowshoes for winter field trips at the Ogden Nature Center. While record-breaking snow impacted some of our programming and challenged the staff, we all welcomed the moisture with mostly happiness and optimism.

This spring and summer we all witnessed the results. In our own mini superbloom, native grasses and wildflowers suddenly sprang to life with the first sign of spring warmth. Areas of the Nature Center that are typically dry once again held water and waterfowl, while our native pollinator plantings spread their leaves. The milkweed in the Monarch Waystation exploded and the number of native butterflies and bees on the property has been extraordinary!

This winter also recharged our groundwater. For the first time in years, Avocet Pond held water and we saw Mallards nesting on its banks! Baby Killdeer roamed around the newest pond on the property, which we have appropriately named “Killdeer Pond,” and Spotted Sandpipers even spent the spring here.

The resident beavers are keeping us busy while also keeping water in our waterways. These rambunctious rodents constructed a series of dams, slowing the movement of water through the nature preserve. This feeds our native cottonwoods and creates excellent nesting habitat for the families of Wood Ducks. Beavers transformed a parched field into a wet meadow, bringing White-faced Ibis, Gray Catbirds, and Yellow-breasted Chats to the Nature Center. Black-crowned Night Herons stalked around the banks of our full ponds, while dozens of baby Mallards paddled around and took refuge in the wet meadow.

Last year, Fresenius Medical Care, the Utah Department of Transportation, Ogden City, and the Dinsdale Water Company all worked together to bring the Ogden Nature Center its first “water delivery” in years. This new water lease will ensure that the Nature Center’s riparian corridor thrives, while also providing more resources for habitat restoration across the 152-acre preserve. It will also allow the Nature Center to conserve water elsewhere – as we are all cognizant of what water conservation means to the Great Salt Lake and our entire watershed.

Along with the help of hundreds of volunteers, habitat restoration interns, and Volunteens, our staff ecologist is hard at work making sure we have a healthy ecosystem here in this urban oasis. (Read more about these efforts inside!)

As late summer presses on, we look forward to even more projects on the horizon and new ways to connect with our community. As you visit, take a look at the work we’re doing to ensure the Ogden Nature Center is healthy and accessible to everyone. Our amazing educators are constantly busy, teaching and exploring the outdoors with the next generation of environmental stewards! You’ll always hear the excited voices of children as they meet our birds of prey or as they watch the grasshoppers bound off the trail as they walk.

We invite you to join us for any of our community programs, walk our trails, or join us for conservation work. We look forward to sharing our new and improved Dumke Picnic Grove space with you this fall!

We’re hard at work improving the Ogden Nature Center and continually nurturing this precious place where our community comes to learn and enjoy! 



Mon - Fri 9 am – 5 pm
Sat 9 am – 4 pm
Sun Closed
(Closed on major holidays)

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Adults 13+ $6
Seniors 65+ $4
Children 2-12 $4
Children under 2 Free

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