Nature Center

Acquired in 1998 by Durango Nature Studies, the Durango Nature Center provides 140 acres of hiking trails through a variety of ecosystems. River play, picnic pavilion,  interpretive trails, nesting bird walk. Fun for the whole family! Check out our TRAIL MAP.

The Nature Center is a perfect learning laboratory for many scientific studies and community projects. If you would like to use the Nature Center for research, trail work, or a special project, please contact us, at 970-385-1256 or info@sjma.org.

Sorry, we love our four-legged friends, but please no pets allowed since it’s a wildlife sensitive area.

Hours:

Closed until May 2020

Price:

Free for members and children 12 and under.
Suggested donation of $10 for nonmembers

Address for GPS:  63 County Road 310, Durango, CO 81301

From Durango: Take US Highway 550 south towards Farmington 12 miles from Farmington Hill. At the base of Bondad Hill, turn left at the blue Nature Center sign onto County Road 310/318. Make an immediate left onto “River’s End Lane” and travel less than 1/10 mile to the parking area. Travel time from Durango is about 20 minutes.

From Aztec/Farmington/Bloomfield: Take US Highway 550 north from Aztec about 19 miles. Be looking for a firehouse on your right, just before you see County Road 310/318. Turn right onto County Road 310/318, and make an immediate left onto “River’s End Lane”. Travel less than 1/10 mile to the parking area. Travel time from Aztec is about 1/2 hour.

The site entrance is marked with Durango Nature Studies signs.

Looking for a unique setting for a group meeting, staff retreat or your child’s birthday party?  Consider the Durango Nature Center. We can accommodate up to 60 people on the site at a time. With its remote location, interpretive trail system, open fields, and beautiful pavilion, the Nature Center might just be the perfect place for your next meeting.

To view our rates and policies for use, download our Nature Center Rental Agreement.

Please contact SJMA to discuss your group and desired dates at 970-385-1256 or info@sjma.org.

Projects that have been conducted at the Nature Center include:

Fort Lewis College Archaeological Field School – The Durango Nature Center is home to a Prehistoric Dinetah Gobernador Phase Site. This is a very exciting discovery that was excavated by Mona Charles and her students.

Fort Lewis College Biology Department – Field Ecology classes have a long-term weather station and water sampling projects going on at the site each spring.

Fort Lewis Geology Department – Geology classes sample water along the Florida River at the site each fall.

The Lions Club – The Lions Club paid to construct a beautiful all-season pavilion where most of our programs gather.

High Noon Rotary – The High Noon Rotary built a footbridge that crosses the Florida River and leads to the heart of the site.  Upon crossing the bridge, visitors step into the beauty of the Nature Center.

Southwest Conservation Corp (SCC) – SCC had been a community partner at the Nature Center for several 12-13 year old crews. We also serve as a training site for other adult crews.

Eagle Scouts – The site hosts various projects to obtain their eagle scout badge. Recent projects have been the completion of a floating dock in our pond, a foot bridge across the Florida River, and bird house project for nesting birds.

Colorado State University – Graduate students conducted a study on boreal chorus frogs based on the large number of frogs at the site. The study involved obtaining cotton mouth swabs for genetic analysis and recording audio samples.

Animas High School – Students conducted a bullfrog study and came up with plans to eliminate this invasive species so the native leopard frogs could thrive. 

Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas – Because of our excellent riparian habitat, field studies were conducted at our site for the atlas. Findings included 42 species, including three that had not been seen before in the area. .