Walnut Creek Wetland Center
Last updated Oct. 17, 2017 - 10:50 am
- Year 2009 | Acres 58
- View Park Status Alerts
- Our mission is to make people aware of the importance of wetlands for clean water, habitat, and recreation while emphasizing the importance of human interaction with nature.
- Come visit a diverse ecosystem, and come discover your local wetland!
- Please note that our phone number has changed to 919-996-2760.
- Park bond project at this location
- The land and wetland area around Walnut Creek Wetland Park is rich with history from its early days as a farming community to becoming a premier specimen location for the Brimley Brothers who co-founded the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at the turn of the 20th century. In the mid-1990’s a grass-roots effort by a community organization which became known as Partners for Environmental Justice worked to clean up the area and lobby for a nature center for southeast Raleigh. Presented with their ideas, Raleigh City Council approved placing it on the 2003 bond initiative, and it was approved by the citizens of Raleigh. A second bond in 2014 was approved for another phase of development for the park to include much of the remaining acreage. A Citizen Planning Committee has approved a conceptual design, and construction is expected to begin sometime in 2019.
- 919-996-2760 | email
- Park Office is located in the lobby which acts as a nature center. It is open to the public, free of charge.
- The nature center offers many activities free of charge, including interactive displays, explorer backpacks, scavenger hunts, interaction with live animals, books, puzzles, toys, and crafts.
- Binoculars, boots, aquatic and insect nets, and field guides are available to check out to explore the wetland and greenway trails, free of charge.
- The nature center has a monthly theme that includes artifacts, books, scientific information, games and crafts to educate on the theme of the month.
- The entire facility is wheelchair accessible.
- Rocking chairs are available to leisurely enjoy the view of the wetland.
- Public restrooms, water fountains, and a pet watering bowl are available on the outside deck on the south side of the center.
- The facility is easily accessible via the Little Rock Creek and Walnut Creek Greenways, and is just a mile from downtown Raleigh.
- In addition to the designated parking lot, free parking is available on Peterson and State Streets.
- Two free electric vehicle charging ports are available in the parking area.
- Pets must be restrained at all times on a 6’ leash.
- Hike only on the designated trails.
- Biking and skateboarding are not allowed on the deck.
- Smoking is prohibited.
- The park and trails close at dusk, and all visitors must leave accordingly.
- Unless it’s litter, leave what you find.
- Drones are not allowed except by permit. Contact the Special Events office at 919-996-2200.
- Alcohol is only allowed for special events after acquiring a special City of Raleigh Alcohol Permit.
- Hammocking is not permitted.
- We offer a variety of nature based programs for all ages.
- Preschool Swamp Romp and Wee Wetland Walkers for the youngest children.
- Youth programs include Playing with the Elements, Kids Nature Nights, Beginning Worm Composting, and That’s So Gross mini-camps.
- Families can enjoy the Family Naturalists series and Family Vermicomposting.
- For adults, there are programs on Introduction to Invasive Plants, Tree ID, Creating a Backyard Habitat, Introduction to Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens, the Lifelong Learner Series, and guided hikes and mini-programs for developmentally disabled adults.
- For current classes and activities please call the Wetland Center
- Register for classes on RecLink
- Programs can be booked in advance by schools, scout troops, youth groups, etc.
- Wetland Birds
- Discovering Wetlands
- Wetlands Plants
- Wetland Wonders
- View Brochure
- $165 for a 3 hour package that includes a guided walk and program.
- Swamp Soiree
- Birdie Birthday
- Wetland Wing-ding
- Please call the center for more information.
- Free self guided activities to enjoy any time the center is open
- Reading Nook
- Scavenger Hunt
- Greenway Walk
- Each month features a different theme with interactive learning, a touch table and related make-n-take craft.
- We do green building tours free of charge. Groups larger than three, please call ahead.
- Call for specific time and dates
- Wake County Big Sweep: Walnut Creek Wetland Park was founded by members of the community who came together to hold regular cleanups in an effort to restore the park area’s beauty. Be a part of the legacy! Big Sweep is held twice a year in the spring and the fall.
- Mud Day: Mud Day is a community festival held to celebrate wetlands and the importance of connecting children and children-at-heart to nature.
- Christmas Bird Count: Christmas Bird Count is hosted by Wake Audubon Society and is held the 3rd Saturday in December. Check with the Park Office to confirm date and time.
- A bird feeding station invites a variety of songbirds and hummingbirds, while raptors including red shouldered hawks, barred owls, and even the occasional bald eagle are sighted in the woods surrounding the Center.
- Waterfowl including great blue herons, wood ducks and geese are regularly sighted. Mammal visitors include deer, foxes, groundhogs, beaver and more.
- Five-lined skinks and green anoles make their home around the deck, while many other reptiles and amphibians, including tree frogs, turtles, salamanders, and the occasional non-venomous northern water snake are regularly seen.
- Our Pollinator Hotel plays host to many small invertebrates including wasps and spiders that nest there. An occasional skink can be seen looking for a meal, as well.
- In the warmer months, many different species of butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects can be seen around our pollinator gardens.
- A Bike Repair Station allows cyclists to make minor repairs or pump up their bike tires.
- New trails, and additional amenities are forthcoming with the 2017 Master Plan. Look for construction to begin sometime in 2019.
- Easy access from downtown Raleigh, the Walnut Creek Greenway and Little Rock Greenway.
- Rocking chairs on the public deck.
- Restrooms and water fountains.
- Picnic tables in a shady location allow for a relaxing lunch or dinner.
Green Building Features
- Designed by Frank Harmon Architects.
- The building exterior is unpainted wood siding which requires little maintenance and will naturally weather.
- The orientation of the building and the many windows allow for maximum use of natural light while providing shade from strong sun.
- Water is conserved inside through use of low flow devices and dual flush toilets.
- Outside, there are swales and rainwater collection ponds which slow the flow of water across the surface and through the soil; additionally the cistern collects water from the gutters for watering the garden.
- Two electronic car charging stations are available in the parking lot.
Neuse River Room
- 44' by 32'
- Capacity: 62
- Full kitchen with a four burner oven, microwave and a standard refrigerator
- Pull down projection screen
- $75/hr, with East Deck - $125/hr
- View Room Setup Options
Walnut Creek Room
- 36' by 32'
- Capacity: 49
- Two built in sinks with counter space
- Laminate flooring
- Pull down projector screen
- Wrap-around windows overlook our bird feeder station
- $60/hr, with West Deck - $110/hr
- View Room Setup Options
- Large decks adjacent to both rooms can be rented to expand the party into the outdoors.
- Decks can only be rented in conjunction with a room, and do not increase the number of people limited by fire code.
- Set-up and break-down of tables and chairs is included.
- All rentals require a non-refundable $15 application fee and a refundable $100 damage deposit, no set-up fees.
- All rentals must be booked and paid for in full at least 2 weeks prior to the event. No partial payments are accepted.
- Alcohol is allowed with a permit. All rentals that include an alcohol permit must be booked and paid for at least one month in advance. No partial payments are accepted.
- There is a $20/ hour supervisory fee to rent the facility outside of normal operating hours.
- 100% transfer of recoverable fees if you cancel 14 days in advance.
- All rentals are for a 2 hour minimum.
- Allow time for set up and clean up in your rental time.
- No rentals may extend past 11:00pm, which includes the time necessary for clean-up and vacating the room.
- Walnut Creek Wetland Park lies at the confluence of Little Rock Creek and Walnut Creek Greenway Trails, at about the halfway point on the Walnut Creek Greenway between Lake Johnson and the Neuse River Greenway.
- Cyclists enjoy using the Walnut Creek Wetland Center as a place to make adjustments or pump up their tires at the Bike Repair Station.
- The Ross Andrews Trail is a short, mulched trail that allows access directly into Little Rock Creek. Frog pipes and coverboards are fun to explore for tree frogs, invertebrates and the occasional salamander.
- As part of the new 2017 Master Plan, new trails are anticipated beginning in 2019.
- Review the 2017 Master Plan.
- View map