Nature Parks, Preserves, and Programs

Last updated May 16, 2019 - 11:46 am
Swallowtail Butterfly

Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources operates several nature facilities which provide programming and access to the outdoors for everyone to enjoy.

Give Play Scholarship

Give Play is an initiative supported by the City of Oaks Foundation and the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department with the goal of removing cost as a barrier for getting youth engaged in park programs.

Learn more about Give Play Scholarship

Nature Parks and Preserves

Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park

157 acres of land along Falls Lake gifted to create its first designated nature preserve. Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson, a renowned Raleigh doctor with many pioneering achievements in her 53-year career in medicine, stipulated in her will that the park be maintained as a "nature preserve park" used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education.

Durant Nature Preserve

237-acre park with hardwood and pine forests, wildflowers and ferns, wetlands, and two lakes. A variety of habitats in the park provide wonderful wildlife viewing. Waterfowl, turtles, and fish can be seen at both lakes. Evidence of many mammals can be found along the creek banks and trails.

Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve

Carved out by the meandering Neuse River, the 146-acre Preserve sits on a U-shaped jewel of land in northeastern Wake County. Exceptional natural resources include wetlands, hardwood forests, grasslands, and abundant wildlife. Excellent birdwatching is available all year. A restored farmhouse is home to nature education programs and interpretation of the land’s rich cultural heritage. The site, awarded a SITES certification for sustainable design, features solar lighting, compost restrooms, and landscape features protecting wetlands.

Walnut Creek Wetland Park

A "green" built facility is within a 59-acre park boasts a variety of songbirds and hummingbirds, as well as raptors including red shouldered hawks, barred owls, and even the occasional bald eagle. Waterfowl including great blue herons, wood ducks, and geese are regularly sighted. Mammal visitors include deer, foxes, groundhogs, beaver, and more. A rich variety of reptiles and amphibians make their homes here as well.

Nature Programs for Groups

Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Nature Programs offer a variety of group programs at several parks around the City. These programs are hands-on and curriculum based for school groups, preschools, homeschools and other groups.

More about our Group Nature Programs

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