The mission of Sugar Grove Nature Center is to provide a place where individuals can
experience, study, and enjoy the environment and history of Funks Grove, and as a result
be inspired to become responsible stewards of the environment.
Sugar Grove Nature Center is located just south of Bloomington-Normal in Funks Grove. Our facility is open Tuesday through Saturday, year-round. Individuals of all ages enjoy the interpretive exhibits, sensory displays, and live animals. A wildlife viewing area provides a cozy atmosphere for reading books or perusing field guides and invites visitors to enjoy birds and other wildlife up close. Admission is FREE!
Summer nature study classes for children ages 3 and up allow for education and understanding through hands-on experiences. Field trips are offered for schools, preschools, homeschoolers, and other groups. Guided walks, workshops, scout programs, family programs, and special events are conducted throughout the year. All of our interpretive programs are designed to instill awareness and appreciation of the natural world.
Sugar Grove Nature Center is located in Funks Grove among over 1,000 acres of high quality natural area, most of which are protected as registered Illinois Land & Water Reserves or dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves. Funks Grove is the largest remaining intact prairie grove in the state of Illinois and portions have been designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. Over five miles of well maintained trails take visitors through prairie and woodland habitats. A trail from the Nature Center leads to the Funks Grove Church, Cemetery, and Chapel of the Templed Trees. Trails are open daily from dawn until dusk for foot traffic only. Pets are welcome on most trails, but must be leashed and remain on the trail at all times.
Not far from the Nature Center, just across the covered bridge is Imagination Grove. Imagination Grove is a special place where “kids can be kids,” designed to form a bond between children and nature that lasts a lifetime. This nature exploration area invites kids of ALL ages to search for fossils and arrowheads, build a fort, tromp in the creek, climb a tree, pretend they are an early explorer, and so much more!
A picnic shelter, astronomy observatory, working blacksmith forge, variety of gardens and many other features help to make Sugar Grove Nature Center a beautiful and unique place. Please visit us soon!
The Grounds, Trails, and Imagination Grove are Open Year-Round from Dawn until Dusk.