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Rent the Nature Center
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is a unique and affordable option for your next gathering. The Nature Center offers a natural setting, woodland landscapes and a picturesque view year round. The Nature Center has a variety of rental options and can accommodate events including, but not limited to:
- Memorial Services
- Retirement Parties
- Graduation Parties
The Rental Inquiry Form must be completed prior to viewing facilities. Rooms will not be shown without an appointment.
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is an urban oasis nestled on 20 acres of diverse landscapes: woodland forest, marsh, prairie, ravine, stream and a lake. Your guests will enjoy being surrounded by the serenity of nature and have the opportunity to view nature inspired artwork, wood carvings from our One Tree Project, indoor exhibits depicting woodland forest habitats, and to watch birds and wildlife from the Wildlife Balcony. One of our Welcome Desk Representatives will be available to assist you before and after your event. And if needed, elevator access is available.
Guests will enter the Meeting Room through our Wildlife Balcony and exhibit area. The carpeted, wood-paneled Meeting Room is very spacious and features large windows overlooking the woodland forest and Stearns Trail and has an attached balcony with sliding glass doors.
The meeting room is equipped with the following amenities:
- Gas fireplace
- Large buffet table (3.5 ft. x 10 ft.)
- An attached full-service kitchen
The following equipment is also available upon request:
- LCD Projector & Screen
- Hand carved wooden podium from our One Tree Project
Room Dimensions: 30 ft. x 40 ft.
Seating Options/Capacity: Ten 8-foot rectangle tables seats 80 guests or ten 4-foot round tables seats 60 guests or auditorium-style seats 100 guests
The Activity Room
The Activity Room is a large well-lit open room with simple décor and newly tiled floors. The oversized windows fill the room with natural light and offers views of the woodland forest and Stearns Trail.
The Activity Room is equipped with the following amenities:
- Direct access to the Stearns Trail
- Attached full service kitchen
- Plenty of countertop space
- Hand washing station
Room Dimensions: 21 ft. x 38 ft.
Seating Options/Capacity: Six 6-foot rectangle tables seats 36 guests
The Discovery Room is designed for younger children and it is a perfect space for your little one’s next birthday celebration! The room has an inviting atmosphere with preschool sized tables and chairs, carpeted activity area and woodland scenery painted along the walls.
The Discovery Room is equipped with the following amenities:
• Carpeted activity area
• Plenty of countertop space
• Hand washing station
• Easy access to restrooms
• Easy access to the full service kitchen
Seating Options/Capacity: 4 - preschool size tables (30 in. x 60 in.) seats 24 children and arrangements that would include our larger tables and chairs for adults will be determined at time of rental.
The Friends Pavilion
The pavilion is an open-sided outdoor covered area. Clear roll-down sides can be lowered during inclement weather. The pavilion has electrical outlets and lighting for evening events. It is furnished with four wooden picnic tables with attached benches on both sides. Guests will have direct access to the All People’s Trail Boardwalk, the Permaculture Garden and Rain Gardens. Please note outdoor grilling is not permitted.
Dimensions: 24 ft. x 48 ft.
Seating Options/Capacity: 4 large wooden picnic tables with space for 35 guests
Fees: Generally, the Friends Pavilion is available for free on a first-come first served basis to all. However, the Pavilion is also available for private rentals. During business hours, guests will have building access. Private evening pavilion rentals also offer guests with building access for the restrooms.
The mile-long Stearns Trail weaves through the woodland forest and passes the vernal pool, fire pit, Doan Brook and our South marsh. The All People’s Trail Boardwalk is ADA and stroller accessible from the parking lot. The raised boardwalk is about one-third of a mile and offers views of the native plant species in the North marsh and the Doan Brook. Portions of the trails can be rented for a small fee for your private event, perfect for uninterrupted photographs!
Please inquire for rates.
We offer one hour Naturalist-led programs on local flora and fauna and birding basics.
Please inquire for rates.
Green Building Tour
We offer a one hour tour highlighting our green building and the sustainable environmental designs incorporated in our 2003 expansion.
Please inquire for rates.
- Three-hour minimum rental (includes 30 minutes for setup and 30 minutes for cleanup)
- A $250 security deposit to be paid at time of rental reservation. It will be returned as long as there are no damages or violations to the rental agreement.
- 30 minutes must be added prior to your event start time for setup
- 30 minutes must be added at the conclusion of your event for cleanup
- Any rental contract less than $500 is due in full when the contract is signed and returned.
- Rental contracts $501 and higher require half of the rental cost at the time of reservation. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to the event.
- A reservation is not guaranteed without a signed contract and payment. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
- NCSL does not place any restrictions of food or caterers.
- If alcohol is served, NCSL requres that a security guard be present at the event. Additional charges apply.
To initiate the rental process, please complete the Rental Inquiry Form here.