The Highlands Center for Natural History
On your first visit to the Highlands Center you will begin to see the natural world of the Central Arizona Highlands in a whole new light. Through the trained eyes of educators and naturalists, young and old alike will be awakened to the wonder of nature on the 80-acre site nestled in the Prescott National Forest, 15-minutes from Prescott's Courthouse Square.
In our classroom without walls you will discover Ponderosa Pine covered mountains, deeply shaded riparian habitats, chaparral and woodland covered hillsides, remarkable geologic formations, and amazing vistas, in addition to all manner of forest inhabitants.
As a non-profit nature-based education organization, the Highlands Center is funded through membership and donations. The 3-mile nature trail system is the gateway to Lynx Creek and other Prescott National Forest trails and is open to the public year round. There is no fee to walk the trails, but donations are always welcome.
Through memberships and donations, the creative education staff develops innovative year-round programs. Each year, many thousands of children and adults are reached through day camps, family programs, school programs, field studies, lectures, workshops, special events and other activities.
The beautiful campus showcases practical green building strategies in The James Learning Center, including administrative offices, an outdoor amphitheater and restrooms, a large indoor classroom facility and patio, a service kitchen, library and gift shop, most of which are available for rental.
The adjacent grounds model water conservation, fire-wise landscaping, and the use of native plants in re-vegetation. The site is operated under a Special Use Permit with the Prescott National Forest, USDA Forest Service.
Please explore the website, and visit our beautiful campus to discover how you can learn about and enjoy our natural world all year long.
Coming in 2017 - The James Family Discovery Gardens – a new 8-acre destination designed to be a microcosm of the Central Highlands, showcasing all its natural wonder and making it accessible to everyone.
The Highlands Center helps children and adults discover the wonders of nature and become wise caretakers of the land. We believe that everyone has a fundamental need to connect with the natural world. This connection is fostered by the Center through outdoor-science education based on observation and discovery of the Central Arizona Highlands.
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