Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

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Construction is in progress around our barnyard area. During this time, our barnyard animals will be interacting with new habitats inside and outside of the barn and receiving daily enrichment. Please bear with us while we make improvements for our animals and guests!
Learn more about the project at

Party for the Planet


Every year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums throw a ‘Party for the Planet’ to encourage people to take action to create healthy habitats for wildlife and humans to thrive together.

The WNC Nature Center will spring into action to celebrate Earth Day, Endangered Species Day, and World Ocean Day this summer with three community events.

Earth Day, April 22, from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

For Earth Day, Nature Center staff and volunteers will be transforming the Songbird Garden into a Certified Wildlife Garden for native wildlife to thrive. Stop by the docent station at the Songbird Garden (near the otters) where you can learn more about creating your own Certified Wildlife Garden by planting native, bird-friendly plants!

Endangered Species Day, May 20
Endangered Species Day launches the WNC Nature Center’s ongoing partnership with ECO-CELL, an organization that recycles electronic devices to help protect crucial rainforest habitats. Starting May 20 through the end of the year, you can bring your old, broken, or bedazzled electronics to the Ticket Office at the Front Entrance of the WNC Nature Center and donate them to support conservation efforts.

Accepted items for recycling include cell phones, smartphones, iPhones, iPods, iPads, tablets, Apple/Android watches, bluetooth, tablets, GPS, MP3 players, e-readers, digital cameras, handheld gaming systems and the accessories that come with them.

Electronic devices like tablets and cell phones contain an ore called Coltan, which coats the capacitors inside gadgets to make them energy efficient. This ore is found in great quantities in the Congo, home to the critically endangered gorilla and chimpanzee. Due to Coltan mining in the Congo, the eastern lowland gorilla population has declined 90 percent. Recycling your gadgets with ECO-CELL helps save these animals by reducing the demand for Coltan and providing funds to conservation organizations.

The WNC Nature Center will be donating all proceeds to the Red Wolf Coalition to help protect one of the most endangered canines in the world, the American Red Wolf.   

World Ocean Day, June 11, 10am-12pm River Clean up, 12:30pm- 2:30pm BioBlitz
On World Ocean Day, Nature Center staff and volunteers will be making a splash in the Swannanoa River by hosting a river clean up in the morning with community partner RiverLink. Together, we can help preserve precious species like otters and hellbenders by cleaning up their habitat. The river clean up will take place 10am-12pm. To register for the river clean up, you must by 7+ years old and email

The WNC Nature Center will also be hosting a BioBlitz that afternoon by the river for the whole family to enjoy!

Have you ever wondered what creatures live in or around our rivers? Do you want to help scientists learn more about biodiversity and stream health? If so, please put on your scientist cap and join us for a BioBlitz with our partner and National Geographic photographer, Kevin Fitzpatrick! The BioBlitz is open to the community and will be a fun hands-on educational activity for the whole family to enjoy! Join us at the river bank below the Asheville Rec Park pool (at the public picnic shelters).

Questions about any of these events? Email Chrissy at for more information!

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