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Wargo Nature Center

Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve
7701 Main St
Lino Lakes, MN 55038

Homeschool ClassesField TripsHeritage LabGetting There

Wargo Nature Center is an outdoor learning center fully equipped with informational displays, dozens of animal mounts, and a library full of books and periodicals at your disposal. The interpretive center is nestled on a beautiful peninsula overlooking George Watch Lake and is part of the 5,000 acre Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve. Near the visitors’ center you will find wild bird feeders visited by much more than just a variety of birds plus a variety of beautiful gardens: some to attract butterflies, another to increase water quality.

Canoes, kayaks, snowshoes, and kicksleds are also available to rent at the visitors’ center.

Phone: 651-429-8007

Hours of Operation: Nov-Mar: Tue-Fri, 8am-4:30pm
Apr-Oct: Tue-Fri, 8am-4:30pm; Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun 12pm-5pm


Homeschool Classes

Wargo Nature Center offers monthly homeschool classes on the third Thursday of each month at 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm for a variety of ages. Professional naturalists work with your children to provide quality environmental, recreational and natural history programming that focuses on hands-on, experiential learning.

Students are separated into grades 1-2, 3-5 and 6–12 to facilitate the learning process. Younger students explore topics such as seeds, animal homes or Norwegian kicksledding while older students may snowshoe, conduct water quality experiments or learn bird identification skills. The topics change each year and the use of journals and the scientific method often help guide our studies.

More information at anokacounty.us/876/Homeschool-Programs.

Contact Person: Maria Pierz, Homeschool Coordinator
Deb Gallop, Program Supervisor
Contact Phone:
 651-429-8007

Cost per Child/Student: $4 plus tax

Target Grade Level: Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-12

Cancellation Policy:Cancellations that are received less than 7 days before the event will not be refunded. If Wargo Nature Center cancels a program, an attempt will be made to schedule a make-up date. If this is not possible, the program fee will be refunded.


Field Trips

Wargo can conduct special programs on forestry, nature study, pond study, photography and much more. Wargo Nature Center staff can arrange programs to fulfill a scouting badge, 4-H project requirement, Eagle Scout project, etc.

More information at anokacounty.us/878/4H-Scouts-Other-Small-Groups

Contact Phone: 651-429-8007

Cost per Child/Student: $4.50

Minimum Group Size: $45 (10 students)
Maximum Group Size: unknown

Target Age Range: Ages 3 to adult

Cancellation Policy/Cancellation Deadline: Cancellations that are received less than 7 days before the event will not be refunded. If Wargo Nature Center cancels a program, an attempt will be made to schedule a make-up date. If this is not possible, the program fee will be refunded. Any changes to the event date(s) must be made at least 7 days prior to the scheduled program. There will be no refunds for changes less than 7 days before the program.


Heritage Lab

Description: The Heritage Lab program is a full-day, outdoor historical program offered each fall on a permanent site in the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve in Lino Lakes; an area rich in Indian and Settler history.

Each year brings a new theme as Heritage Lab rotates through five different time periods in Minnesota history:

    1. Voyageurs
    2. Native American People of Minnesota
    3. Pioneers and Settlers
    4. Early Minnesota
    5. Milling, Mining and Lumbering

Students rotate through the eight stations where presenters in period costumes encourage them to participate in hands-on activities related to the overall historical theme for that fall and to immerse themselves in the time period. Students may, for example, set up a tipi, taste traditional foods, go through the steps of harvesting wild rice or visit a trading post.

In case of severe weather, Heritage Lab will take inside Wargo Nature Center.

Registration: Generally available in mid-August. All registrations are held until the beginning of September and then scheduled based on the dates selected and space available.

Cost per child/student: $5+tax
Cost per adult/educator: $5+tax; there is no charge for up to 3 adult educators/chaperones per group

Minimum group size: unknown
Maximum group size: 35 people

Target grade level: for students in 1st - 6th grades; the presentations are adjusted to each grade level.

Cancellation policy: The organizer is financially responsible for the number of participants submitted on the registration form.

Directions: The Heritage Lab is located on the north side of Co. Rd. 14 (Main St.), across from the entrance to the Wargo Nature Center.

For more information, contact Krista Harrington, Program Supervisor, at 651-429-8007 or Krista.Harrington [at] co.anoka.mn.us or visit anokacounty.us/872/Heritage-Lab


Getting There

Driving Directions: 

From Minneapolis
Take I-35W north to the Lake Drive (Highway 23) exit. Take Lake Drive north to Main Street (CSAH 14/Main Street (Old Highway 242)) and turn right. Go east on CSAH 14/Main Street (Old Highway 242), you will cross-over I-35W on a bridge, and continue for two more miles. The park entrance is on the right side of the road marked with a sign.

From St. Paul
Take I-35E north to the Main Street exit and turn left. Go west on County Road 14, through the City of Centerville's downtown area, and continue for two more miles. The park entrance is on the left side of the road marked with a sign.

From Blaine, Coon Rapids, Anoka, Ham Lake, Andover
Take CSAH 14/Main Street/125th Ave. (Old Highway 242) east for 12 to 15 miles. You will cross-over I-35W on a bridge and continue for two more miles. The park entrance is on the right side of the road marked with a sign.

From Columbia Heights, Fridley, Spring Lake Park
Take Highway 65 (Central Avenue) north to CSAH 14/Main Street/125th Ave. (Old Highway 242) and turn right. Follow CSAH 14/Main Street (Old Highway 242) east for 12 miles. You will cross-over I-35W on a bridge and continue for two more miles. The park entrance is on the right side of the road marked with a sign.

From Northern Minnesota
Take Hwy. 35 south to 35E to exit #123 (County Road 14). Take a right onto Main St., go through the City of Centerville. Continue approximately 3 miles on County Road 14, pass Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The Wargo Nature Center entrance is on the left, 1/4 mile before 35W bridge.



Information subject to change. Please check with Wargo Nature Center for the most current information. Last updated on Sun, Sep 6, 2015.