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Anita Purves Nature Center

1505 North Broadway

Located at the north end of Crystal Lake Park, the Anita Purves Nature Center is an environmental education facility open free to the public. Next door you'll find Busey Woods, a 59-acre forest preserve with a boardwalk loop, seasonal ponds and more.

The Anita Purves Nature Center, at the north end of Urbana's Crystal Lake Park opened in 1979 and underwent an expansion in 2005. Today, we welcome more than 50,000 visitors a year.

We offer environmental programs on site and at other locations and staff members are on hand to answer questions during open hours. Join us in every season to experience something new.

The Anita Purves Nature Center has classrooms for programs that are also rentable for public and private events. 


Matt Sly

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018
As the gateway to Busey Woods and the new nature playscape, this is a great place for naturalists of all ages and abilities. Indoors you will find many animals and hands on exhibits. In addition, Urbana Park District rents classrooms inside. Also includes bathrooms and staffed front desk to answer questions.

Teresa DeWitt

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Always a pleasure to visit. A great teaching nature center with book, animals and a bird viewing window. Classes can be held there, and they keep a store of teaching unit kits available for teachers. Anita Purves adjoins the Busey Woods where people can walk boardwalks looking for birds, wildflowers and even deer.

Chad Thomas

Friday, June 1, 2018
Very interesting place to visit! Especially if you have children. Nice hiking trails also!

Jackie Brewer

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Inside, visit owls, view birds through one-way window, buy fieild guides at Audobon bookstore. Outside, prairie plants and nature playscape.

Nick Gordon

Monday, May 21, 2018
Really nice place with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Does good work teaching kids about nature as

Anita Purves Nature Center is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media