Nature & Wildlife Centers, Organizations & Rescues

Nature & Wildlife Centers, Organizations & Rescues

Let your children learn with you to become more aware of our complex, beautiful world, including the wild plants and animals within it. Together, you can resolve to protect and maintain your corner of this planet.



Altacal Audubon Society; Butte, Glenn & Tehama Counties. Promotes awareness, appreciation & protection of native birds & their habitats. Bird walks, informative & entertaining monthly programs at Chico Creek Nature Center, educational outreach at local schools & events. Sponsors the annual Snow Goose Festival each January.

California Native Plant Society, Mt. Lassen Chapter; Butte, Glenn, Tehama & Plumas counties. Offers year-round field trips, native plant seeds, monthly meetings & annual events, rare plant conservation & educational outreach programs to schools & groups.


Barry Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary & Educational Center; Oroville. This education & preservation center is home to a wide variety of non-releasable endangered & exotic live animals. See tigers, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, leopards, hawks, owls, African lions, servals, a liger, wallaby, reptiles & much more. 4995 Durham Pentz Rd. (530) 533-1000.

Butte Environmental Council (BEC); Butte County. BEC educates & advocates for the environment. Provides information about current land, air & water issues, offers classroom education programs & provides resources for community action. Hosts the annual Endangered Species Faire each May in Bidwell Park & the annual Bidwell Park & Creeks Clean-up Day in September (3rd Sat). 116 W. Second St., Ste. 3. (530) 891-6424.

Chico Creek Nature Center. The official information center for Bidwell Park, the 7th largest municipal park in the U.S. Offers children’s classes, exhibits, camps, a science lab, educational programs for schools &  field trips. Thrive K-12 Learning Center  is home to non-releasable native animals. 1968 East 8th St. (located in Bidwell Park). (530) 891-4671.

Feather River Fish Hatchery; Oroville. State-of-the-art facility features underwater viewing windows to observe migrating salmon & steelhead trout; best viewing happens mid-Sept–Jun. Learn about the life cycle of fish & view spawning operations. Offers educational programs & tours & hosts the Annual Salmon Festival on the 4th Sat in Sept. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. Free admission. 5 Table Mountain Blvd. (530) 538-2222.

Feather River Nature Center & Native Plant Park; Oroville. Features an original river-rock bathhouse used by gold miners. This is a great place to enjoy family picnics or just relax by the river. Open weekends 12-4pm; guided tours available by appt. Select the Museums link. Montgomery St. & Old Ferry Rd. (530) 538-2401

Gateway Science Museum; Chico. Inspiring the exploration of science & natural history in the Butte County region & beyond. Offers ongoing & touring exhibits, a science lab & workshops, school field trips, summer camps & more. Walk through the native plants garden. 625 Esplanade (next to the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park). (530) 898-4121.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area; Gridley. Year-round wildlife viewing in a 9,100-acre wetland area. In fall & winter see vast numbers of migratory waterfowl. Offers a museum, paved trail to a viewing platform & seasonal guided tours Oct-Feb. Annual events include a children’s fishing day. Open sunrise to sunset. 3207 Rutherford Road (along the Pacific Flyway). (530) 846-7500 or Sat & Sun (530) 846-7505.

Ron’s Reptiles; Chico. Visit to see a variety of lizards, snakes & amphibians, or Ron will come to you for club or school assemblies in Butte & Tehama counties. Open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm. 44 Rock Creek Rd. (530) 893-2095.

The Worm Farm; Durham. Family farm featuring 9,600 linear feet of windrows of redworms. Learn about vermicomposting at this popular field trip destination. Hands-on group tours year-round by appointment. Wear gardening clothes when visiting! Provides gardeners with a means of producing healthy plants while positively affecting the environment. 9033 Esquon Rd. (7 miles south of Chico). (530) 894-1276.



Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; Willows. Headquartered in Willows, the complex consists of five national wildlife refuges & three wildlife management areas, comprising more than 35,000 acres of wetlands & uplands in the Sacramento Valley. Auto-tours, hiking trails, visitor center, bookstore & educational programs. School & group tours available. (530) 934-2801.



California State Fair Farm School Tour Program; Sacramento. In spring & fall, students grades K-6 will enjoy a 1.5-2 hour tour of the California State Fair Farm’s crops & interactive stations, including a functioning greenhouse. Highlights California agricultural history, seeds, crop growing & innovations in farming, soil & worm composting. Produce tasting too. (530) 263-3277.



California Native Plant Society, Shasta Chapter; Redding. Offers field trips, workshops, monthly events with presenters, annual plant sales, shows & information. Educates the public about native plants in their natural environment & for use in the garden. (530)355-8542.

City of Anderson Water Pollution Control Plant. Students of all ages can learn what happens to our sewage water in a field trip that takes them through the steps of sewage waste-water treatment before it is released into the Sacramento River. Students will view the microorganisms used in a natural biological process that treats the water. 3800 Rupert Rd (located in Anderson River Park). (530) 378-6665 or (530) 378-6664.

Coleman Fish Hatchery; Anderson. Explore the largest Chinook salmon & steelhead hatchery in the lower 48 states. Open daily for informative self-guided tours 7:30am until dusk. Nature trail, annual Return of the Salmon Festival (3rd Sat in Oct), school & youth group tours (Oct & Nov). 24411 Coleman Fish Hatchery Rd. (530) 365-8622.

Shasta Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation; Anderson. A nonprofit organization that rehabilitates sick, orphaned & injured wildlife to release back into the wild. Volunteer opportunities in spring & summer. Tasks include feeding baby birds & helping teach older animals how to survive in the wild. (530) 365-9453 (365-WILD).

Turtle Bay Exploration Park; Redding. Provides wonderful, educational, hands-on experiences for all ages. Learn about the natural richness of our area. Interactive exhibits, galleries & museum displays, butterfly & bird exhibits, fish feeding & viewing, self-guided & hands-on science exploration, indoor & outdoor play features & animal shows. Offers school field trips, summer camps, teacher & classroom support & more. 844 Sundial Bridge Dr. (530) 243-8850.

Wild Horse Sanctuary; Shingletown. This 5,000-acre preserve is dedicated to protecting & preserving America’s wild horses as a living national treasure. Provides them sanctuary in an ecologically balanced environment. Visitors welcome Wed & Sat, 10am-4pm for free wild horse viewing. Trail rides, horse adoptions & sponsorships. Annual open house & benefit in Aug. 5796 Wilson Hill Rd. (530) 474-5770.

Wintu Audubon Society; Redding. With a mission of conserving & restoring natural ecosystems, focuses on birds & other wildlife & their habitats. Offers education & interactive programs, including an annual campout in July. Year-round activities include a monthly educational program for youth grades 4 & up (2nd Sat), bird walks for adults & teens (2nd Sat; binoculars & bird guides provided), a birding program with guest speakers (2nd Tue) & more.



Mt. Shasta Audubon Society. The Mount Shasta Area Audubon encourages a love of birds by providing field trips (typically Apr-Jul), a colorful map titled “A Birder’s Guide to Driving Routes in Siskiyou County” & a checklist of birds found in the county. The chapter is involved in education & conservation efforts to protect & enhance the region. (530) 926-2093.

Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center. Offer family-friendly events & activities including hikes, an annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival & Earth Day fun. Volunteer opportunities include being an interpreter at Panther Meadows. 101 E. Alma St., Ste 100H. (530) 926-5655.

Mount Shasta Fish Hatchery. The West’s oldest operating hatchery raises trout to stock mountain streams, rivers & lakes. Offers tours & school field trips by appointment. Sisson Museum on site. Hatchery is open daily 8am-sunset. Free. 3 N. Old Stage Rd. (530) 926-2215.

Raven Tree Wild Bird & Nature Shop; Mt. Shasta. Provides trips, classes & gatherings designed to help you & your kids learn about wild birds. 138 Morgan Way (in Rays Shopping Center). (530) 926-6695.

Shasta Mountain Guides; Mt. Shasta. For families with older kids or teens who are ready for the challenges of rock climbing, mountain climbing, or other customizable trips. Professional guides make the experience memorable. (530) 926-3117.

The River Exchange; Dunsmuir. Promotes healthy watersheds through involving the community in river stewardship, education & restoration in the Upper Sacramento River area. This mostly volunteer organization is undergoing changes – a great opportunity to get involved & help guide its direction. 5727 Dunsmuir Ave. (530) 235-2012.



Sacramento River Discovery Center; Red Bluff. Learn about science & nature in an outdoor classroom on the Sacramento River. Stroll the native habitat trails, visit the 2-acre native plant garden, check out the drought-tolerant demo garden. Offers ongoing seminars, outings & classes, environmental education programming for elementary schools, summer day camps in Jun & Jul (ages 6-12). Buy native plants at the spring & fall plant sale events. 1000 Sale Ln. (530) 527-1196.

Reptile Parties; Tehama & Shasta Counties. Brings a fieldtrip to your school or group! Brings live snakes, lizards & turtles from around the world to you. Children can pet & hold these live ambassadors of their species. (530) 226-5329.



Great Cats World Park; Cave Junction, OR. This interactive & educational 10-acre park is home to up to 45 cats representing 16 different species. Meet feline ambassadors. Helps raise awareness & support for rare & endangered cats. Guided tours & trainer interactions bring out natural, instinctive behaviors & athletic abilities in the cats. School groups, corporate events & private tours available. 27919 Redwood Hwy. (541) 592-2957.

ScienceWorks; Ashland, OR. Southern Oregon’s interactive science museum features over 80 interactive exhibits, hands-on science & arts exploration, weekly activities, field trips & educational programs for educators. Open year-round. Group tours & discounts available. 1500 E. Main St. (541) 482-6767.

Sequoia Park Zoo; Eureka. Families can explore the natural world & cultivate a passion for wildlife at the Sequoia Park Zoo. The zoo features exotic birds that live in a free-flight environment, interactive displays & animal exhibits in a unique redwood setting. 3414 West St. (707) 441-4263.

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Updated: Sep 6, 2017 @ 10:03 pm