Nature in the City
Winner of the 2017 Utah Environmental Education Program of the Year
FREE family outdoor explorations are coming to a city park or open space near you. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the outdoors while getting your hands wet discovering streams, enjoying story time out in the fresh air, meeting tiny creatures on ant hikes, and more… Now continuing all year long!
Programs run around 90 minutes in length and are FREE, but pre-registration is preferred. Use the link below to see the full schedule and register!
Tracy Aviary’s Nature in the City program has been created in partnership with Salt Lake City to provide city residents with fun, educational activities to get kids outdoors and encourage exploration of nature all around us, especially in our own city.
Who Can Attend?
In general, Nature in the City programs are designed for families of all ages. Our educators can adapt most programs to fit the needs and development levels of participants. Any program designed for a particular age group will be noted in the calendar as well as the program description.
Adults should plan on attending programs with children; drop off of children is not permitted.
Terrain of programs is noted below to allow individuals with strollers or wheelchairs to select programs most appropriate for their needs.
Attending a Program
Programs are FREE. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.
The following programs are now playing in a park near you!
Animal Tracks and Signs: There are animal tracks and signs all around us! Become a tracker and come explore the wonderful clues left by our local animals.
Biodiversity Celebration: Enjoy an exploration of all the living things around us and discover their unique adaptions! Oh, and remember--curiosity is key!
Book and Boots: Bring your little ones and explore the outdoors together! We will enjoy a nature-focused story, active games, fun crafts, and time for free play in nature. (While all are welcome, this program is designed more specifically for ages 2-6.)
Details Detective: Nature holds so much to be discovered, if you only take note of the details! Become a details detective with us and represent your discoveries and experiences in your very own nature journal.
Earth Rocks!: No matter the season, you can find rocks everywhere! Join us as we become honorary geologists, use our senses to explore rocks, and get our hands dirty discovering the story of soil!
Eco-Art: Get creative in nature! Become an artist of the elements by turning natural materials into beautiful works of art.
Insect Safari: Get to know the little critters all around us! Join us on a hunt for local insects and learn the important roles these creatures play in habitats.
Mapping Your Park: Discover the importance of having a sense of place and try your hand at creating and reading maps during a treasure hunt!
Natural Comparisons: Have you ever wondered if others view nature the same as you? Come discover how we all see the world from our own perspectives and find out what similarities and differences you share with the ones you know!
Nature Walk: Join us for an easy-paced walk highlighting the unique features of Salt Lake City’s parks. We will equip you with everything you need to explore, including binoculars, magnifying glasses, and simple identification guides.
Painting a Soundscape: How much do we use our sense of sound to understand the world around us? Come discover new ways to interpret our surroundings and sharpen our listening skills!
Sensing the Seasons: Our senses can lead us to amazing discoveries! Come along to experience how our senses enhance our exploration and join us in a round of Nature Show & Tell!
Stream Exploration: Get your hands wet exploring water quality and search for the plants and animals that depend on our streams and rivers.
900 South Oxbow
990 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Park on 900 S or in the parks to the north or south of the Oxbow. If parking north or south, you may walk the Jordan River Parkway Trail to the meeting location.
This park is flat, somewhat shaded and primarily paved with grassy areas on the north and south sides. It is centralized around a small pond that feeds into the Jordan River. The walkways are wide, but shared with those using the Jordan River Parkway trail.
Bend in the River
1010 W Fremont Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Parking is available directly adjacent to the meeting location. If spaces are full, there are additional spaces in the park to the north of Bend in the River.
This park is flat with a paved trail incorporated into the Jordan River Parkway trail, and shared with cyclists and joggers. While there is little shade provided by trees, shade can always be found in the Urban Treehouse. Some pathways, as well as the amphitheater area, are either flat sandstone slabs or small gravel rock. The Jordan River winds along the west side of the park.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail near Wakara Way
301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Park in the Natural History Museum of Utah lot. Meet in front of the south end of the museum (to the right when facing the museum).
This trail’s terrain is rocky with very little shade, and some bouldered areas along the side where we frequently pause for program activities. The trail itself varies in width and is a popular area for mountain bikers and hikers.
City Creek Canyon
Northernmost point of Bonneville Boulevard, Salt Lake City, UT
Bonneville Boulevard is a one-way loop that begins at the northernmost part of B Street in the Avenues. Follow the loop until it turns sharply left. Parking is available on the street or a short drive up the canyon (before the canyon gates).
This trail is paved on the west side of the creek, unpaved on the east side and moderately shaded. While it is fairly wide, it is shared with cyclists and joggers as well as those using the off-leash dog trail on the east side. It is not a rigorous trail, but the difficulty of the terrain varies in some sections.
1150 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Park anywhere in the shopping center parking lot. Meet on the east end of Carter’s (to the right when facing the store front).
This trail is paved on the south side and unpaved on the north side. While there is moderate shade on the south side, the north side is almost completed shaded. It is wide in most areas, but also shared with cyclists and joggers. It is moderately flat, but the short pathways we use to access Parley’s Creek area are relatively steep.
International Peace Gardens
1060 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Parking is available as you enter the park, with additional parking next to the park on the south side. Meet at the IPG entrance.
The space we use at this location is mostly paved with the flora/fauna accessible at the IPG as well as the natural growth near the Jordan River. While we sometimes use the grassy areas in the park or non-paved area parallel to the river, it is still generally accessible by stroller or wheelchair as the terrain is smooth and stable. (Restrooms accessible at Jordan Park just outside of the peace gardens.)
Jordan River Golf Course
1250 N Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Park and meet in the lot north of 1100 N (east side of the street).
This location is mainly a large grassy area with shady groves of elm trees. The trail along the Jordan River is flat, partially paved and has moderate shade. The space is public land but also functions as a disc golf course when not in use by Nature in the City.
LDS Conference Center Roof Garden
60 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150
Street parking is available to the north of the center. Meet in front of door 15. Please plan to arrive five to ten minutes early, as late participants will be unable to join the group.
The roof garden is an easy, fairly flat walk with wide ramps for stroller and wheelchair accessibility as well as elevator use to the roof. There is limited shade on the roof but indoor air conditioning in the lobby of the garden floor is available if necessary.
589 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Park in Tracy Aviary’s parking lot and meet in front of Tracy Aviary.
The park consists of large grassy areas as well as wide, paved pathways used by many park visitors. Groves of trees provide adequate shade throughout the park as well as around the perimeter of Liberty Lake.
1710 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Street parking is available in front of the park and on neighborhood streets. Meet at the base of the park steps on 900 South.
A large staircase leads visitors down to the meeting area. This trail is narrow and somewhat rocky, with Red Butte Creek flowing below. While it varies slightly in elevation, it does consist of a few steep areas where handrails are provided. It is fairly shaded on either side and shared with other hikers.
2760 S 2695 East Heritage Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
Park and meet at the easternmost parking lot in Tanner Park.
This is a wide and fairly open dirt trail. The elevation varies and does have some steep areas. The trail is mostly exposed but some shade can be found alongside the trail.. This trail also functions as an off-leash dog park.
Regional Athletic Complex
1850 N Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Park and meet in the lot on the west side of the street.
This is a mostly flat, gravel trail shared with bikers and joggers. Shade can be found although the trail is primarily exposed.
1631 E 1700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Park and meet in the lot on the north side of the street.
This location consists of large grassy areas, shade trees, and a paved walkway that leads to several unpaved trails alongside Emigration Creek. (Restrooms accessible just north of the parking lot near the playground.)
Salt Lake City Library
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Metered parking is available along 200 E or in the library parking garage on 400 S just east of 200 E.
Meet at meeting room E adjacent to the children’s library on level L1. Weather permitting, we will either facilitate programming on the library’s rooftop garden, outside in the south courtyard or indoors in the meeting room. The library’s outdoor space has restroom accessibility and is a fairly flat, paved pathway.
1575 W 1000 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Parking is available in the Day-Riverside Library parking lot. EcoGarden is southeast a few paces from the parking lot. Meet at the EcoGarden pavilion.
TreeUtah's EcoGarden contains a variety of plants and trees, with the Jordan River flowing just east of the garden area. There are no paved trails; most trails are either worn in from visitors or wood chips. The terrain is flat and vast. (Restrooms accessible at Day-Riverside Library adjacent to the garden.)