Welcome to the Carolyn Parr Nature Center


Hours of Operation
Wednesdays 10 AM - 4 PM | Saturday + Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM
Admission to the center is free

Hours of OperationWednesdays 10 AM - 4 PM
Saturday + Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM
Admission to the center is free

(707) 255-6465

3107 Browns Valley Rd, Napa, California 94558

cpnaturecenter@gmail.com

(707) 255-6465

3107 Browns Valley Rd, Napa, California 94558

cpnaturecenter@gmail.com

We are a non-profit, volunteer-only and community based Nature Center and Museum. Our mission is to provide education and community surrounding Napa's native natural environment to people of all ages. The Center is named for Carolyn Parr, whose generous bequest provided for its establishment in 1981.All programs are free to members of the Nature Center, and only $5 for non-members. Group tours and school classes can be scheduled during the week by calling the Nature Center.

The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is an all-volunteer organization. Docents staff the center Wednesdays and weekend afternoons and host tour groups. Volunteers support general operations. They construct displays, assist with publicity and fundraising, and perform maintenance tasks. The only requirement for volunteers are interest and enthusiasm. All necessary training is easily provided.Please click the buttons below to learn more about us or how to become a volunteer!


upcoming events

Come get involved with our activities and educational programming! Please visit our facebook page for the latest news and updates. If you're interested in scheduling a tour, checking out an event, or becoming a member, head over to our contact page for more information!

Pollination Celebration!

June 19th, 2024

Come celebrate butterflies, bees, flies, and the whole process of pollination in our yearly summer event. Open House with activities for all ages!


Membership Open House

July 27th, 2024

Calling all Members! (or potential Members!) Come celebrate all of this years progress with us with refreshments and special attention to our exhibits!


Project Coyote

August 17th, 2024

Join us as we learn about the beautiful keystones species that is the Coyote, and why their conservation is of the utmost importance.



from our museum

We have 5 biome based exhibits representing our surrounding Napa habitats. Wetlands, Chaparral, Woodlands, Riparian, and Grasslands. We also have a Raptor display as well as bird skulls, curio cabinet, and skulls and pelts.In addition to our stunning collection we host a naturalist library, geological displays, an interactive quiz board and many other natural artifacts and seasonal displays!


lend a hand

Interested in helping out the Nature center, or have some questions regarding local wildlife? Here is some information and a few suggestions that will help you get started!

Helping the Nature Center
The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is managed by the wonderful volunteers of the Napa Valley Naturalists. If you would like to help in any way, please see our JOIN US page for more information, or contact us at cpnaturecenter@gmail.com
Wildlife Rescue Center
Found sick or injured wildlife? Napa Wildlife Rescue can give you information on what to do if you find a sick or injured animal to ensure they get back to their proper home. For further information call
(707)-224-HAWK (4295)


About Us

The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is a museum and community center focused around Napa Valley's native ecosystem, hosting events, tours, school trips, guided hikes, as well as being open to the public. (Wed 10-4, Sat Sun 1-4) Founded in 1978 by the Napa Valley Naturalists, passionate local volunteers, concerned about our natural environment. Our loyal group of docent volunteers and active board members maintain and operate the center year-round. Throughout the year, we offer special programs and guided tours to pre-school and elementary age children in addition to our regular public hours. Admission to the center is free. Financial support to maintain operations comes from center members, individual donations, museum gift shop sales and grants.Through dioramas, seasonal and topical displays, hands-on displays, adult and children’s libraries, the center introduces visitors to the natural wonders and ecology of surrounding area. All the plants and animals in our displays are indigenous to Napa County.

If you are interested in joining the Carolyn Parr Nature Center, please click here to see our Docent and Volunteering page for more information. We are always excited to have new volunteers, to help you enjoy and learn more about our natural resources here in the Napa Valley.


our mission

The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn more about their local natural environment.The Napa Valley Naturalists (NVN), a non-profit education group, is the sponsoring organization of the Carolyn Parr Nature Center. The organization’s fundamental belief is that education is the key to the preservation, protection and conservation of our precious natural habitats. The organization’s goal is to operate and maintain a natural science museum where individuals of all ages may acquire a greater understanding of, and have opportunities for a closer relationship with, their natural environment.


carolyn parr's story

The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is run by The Napa Valley Naturalists, an organization founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens with diverse but intense concerns about the environment.
At the time of her death in 1980, one of those members, Carolyn Parr, left her modest estate for the purpose of establishing a nature center.
Carolyn Parr’s primary personal interest was in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, and her vision had been to create something similar to Walnut Creek’s Lindsay Museum, where displays, programs for children, and wildlife rescue all take place at the same location. Using her bequest, the executors of Carolyn Parr’s will purchased a doublewide mobile home and arranged for it to be sited on the back parking lot of Vintage High School. Unfortunately, this space and site were inadequate for the combination conceived. There were problems with lack of security and vandalism, and there was not enough space to keep the rehabbing wildlife separate from the public, which is an absolute necessity in terms of the law as well as the success of the venture.For this reason, the Wildlife Rescue component immediately split off from the Nature Center, and was run by NVN member Connie Bogosian from her personal dwellings for the next ten years. In 1990, when Connie retired, the NVN board assisted with the establishment of a separate organization, Wildlife Rescue of Napa County, which is the current provider of these services in Napa County.Meanwhile, arrangements were made in 1984 to move the museum to the foot of Westwood Hills Park, where it has more public exposure than at its former site. Carolyn Parr Nature Center now sits on city property and is easily accessible to the public using the adjacent parking lot.


Tours

We offer a range of tours of both the Nature Center and nearby Westwood Hills Park. Our docents host museum tours and guided hikes highlighting local animals and native plants. General and School Tours include both our museum and our native garden. Guided hikes can be booked on their own or added to any tour booking for an additional fee.

  • Explore our habitat displays in the museum showing beautiful preserved specimens in recreations of their habitats.

  • Tour our native plant garden and learn how you can support local ecology in your own backyard.

  • Join us on a guided hike through scenic Westwood Hills Park and learn from our docents about how to appreciate the nature all around us through identification of local species as they live, and hands on interaction with the museums collection.

General Tours - $20
School Tours - $20 per class
Guided Hikes - $25
Tours are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. first bookings available at 9:30am, last bookings available at 1:00pm. Alternate time slots available upon special request dependent on docent availability. Contact us directly by email for more information.Max tour size 30 per group or class.

General Tour

The Carolyn Parr Nature Center hosts educational tours for small groups and families hoping to learn more about the natural beauty of Napa. These tours can be catered to the groups' specific interest, or a general tour of our unique and engaging collection highlighting native Northern Californian ecology.This particular tour is a great option for birdwatching groups, hiking groups, social clubs, and more!For an additional fee ($10) a guided hike may be taken along with your tour.
See our Guided Hike option for more details.

School Tour

School Tour Curriculum Standards:Life Science – Grades K-6thEarth Science – K, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5thEcology, Resources – 6thThe tour is comprised of two elements approximately 20 minutes each after a brief introduction about the basic concepts of conservation:

  • First students will go on a tour of the 5 habitat displays, the collections of raptors, a mountain lion, bears, and some non-native animals.

  • Then students will go outside (when possible) with a docent to learn about the food chain and interdependence of native plants and animals, and learn with skins and skulls afterwards when time allows

  • Classes over 15 students will need to be be split into two groups, one group will do the outside portion while the other will do the inside portion, and then switch.

The field next to our building as well as Westwood Hills Park can be used at your discretion separate from your visit to the Center. Picnic tables are available under the trees in the park.For an additional fee ($10), a guided hike can be hosted by our docents along with the tour.
See out Guided Hike option for more details.

Guided Hike

Join our dedicated docents for a guided hike through our neighboring Westwood Hills Park! The hike will take you to the peak, with a beautiful view of the valley. Along the way we will stop to learn about both the plants and animals both native and introduced, and the way they interact. We bring parts of our collection along to experience the way these creatures live and to provide active examples of their habitats and behavior.The hike takes approximately 60-90 minutes. There is a limit of 20 persons per hike. We typically take the Summit Trail to the peak, and modular trails to descend. We are able to accommodate a range of experience, ability, and ages by taking varying paths through the park. Please list in the form under the Additional Information section if you have a particular accessibility questions or concerns.


Events

We host monthly events here at the Nature Center, including:

  • Animal Encounters

  • Educational Speakers

  • Ecology Community Events

We are proud to host these local, conservation focused professionals to help us achieve our goal of community wildlife and nature education.Our events are FREE to members and children ages 12 and under. Events are $5 for non-members.Stay updated to our upcoming events by joining our mailing list or keeping an eye on our Ticketleap page.


#events

- Pollination Celebration! -

Wednesday June 19th, 2024 | 11am - 3pm

Wednesday June 19th, 2024
11am - 3pm

Our yearly summer fling with bees, butterflies, and bugs of all shapes and sizes is back! Join us as we celebrate the process that perpetuates flowers, fruits, nuts, and all sorts of other things we love and value. Pollination is vital to a healthy ecosystem as well as our own survival. Join us in this open house event full of pollination and summer activities for all ages!

Open House
Free!


#events

- Membership Open House -

Saturday, July 27th, 2024 | 6pm - 8pm

Saturday, July 27th, 2024
6pm - 8pm

Join us here at the Center for an evening of mingling and refreshments as we spend some time appreciating all of our wonderful members! We've made a lot of progress and had a lot of success with our grant this year and would love for you to come and celebrate with us. Not a member? Feel free to join us and sign up while you're here!

Open House
Free!


#events

- Project Coyote -

Saturday, August 17th, 2024 | 6pm - 8pm

Saturday, August 17th, 2024
10:30am - 12pm

Join us as we welcome our friends from Project Coyote to speak about this beautiful keystone species and their incredible importance to North America. Thought of in many places as a nuisance and often hunted unjustly, these animals need our protection now more than ever. We'll learn about their habits, behavior, and many false beliefs about these wonderful backyard yappers!

Stay Tuned for Tickets!


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Sign Up to our emails to get notified of our upcoming events!


Join Us!

MEMBERSHIP - Members support our museum with an annual fee that gives them free entry to the many events hosted at the Carolyn Parr Nature Center. With membership levels fitting every need, we hope to see you join our mission in preserving and appreciating native Napa Nature. Come for events that included live animal visits, guest lectures as well as arts and crafts! Join us today and support the CPNC!

Membership

We offer several types of membership options:

  • Individual - $10 - This membership entails a single person aged 13 or over

  • Family - $25 - Includes all immediate family members

  • Student - $5 - Must provide a valid student ID in person, online membership must use your educational insitution's email. If you wish to receive our updates on your main email, contact us

  • Patron - $50 - A generous donation that comes with all the benefits of a family membership plus a thank you feature in our quarterly newsletter

Would you like to add an additional donation? After submitting your form, see the "Donate" page.

VOLUNTEERING - The Carolyn Parr Nature Center is staffed entirely by volunteers who perform all the operations to keep our center open and free to the public! Docent volunteers are museum educators, who choose to spend their time educating others about native Napa nature. Other museums operations performed by volunteers include housekeeping, gardening, education, events and community outreach! This goes to show how much our volunteers care about our mission, our ecosystem and appreciating our community! Join us as a Volunteer today!

Volunteer

Volunteers will come in on a case by case basis, for event hosting, tour assistance, grounds keeping, public outreach events or other unique opportunities based around your individual skill set.Docents will open and run the center from 1-4 on a weekend day of your selection per month, as well as being able to help host events, lead tours and hikes, help with grounds keeping, outreach, and participate in board meetings to help improve the Center.


Meet Our Docents

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Joyce Nichols

The President of the Napa Valley Naturalists, Joyce began volunteering in 2001, spurred by her daughter and friends. Joyce's love for native plants and educating our community set a standard that we all strive for.

Karen Swain

Began volunteering in 2000, Karen has enjoyed the Center's ability to help her share her long lasting love for the outdoors and knowledge of animals and their behavior.

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Rabbit Hardt

Beginning volunteering and docenting at the Center in March 2023, Rabbit enjoys teaching visitors about wildlife conservation and appreciation. She is an avid birder and hiker, and works at the Napa Wildlife Rescue.

Alex Lyman

Began volunteering in May 2023, Alex is passionate about museums and public education. He visited the Carolyn Parr Nature Center often as a child, and is excited to bring his expertise back.

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Dan Kriedt

Shortly after the 2014 Napa earthquake, Dan was walking past the center and saw that our facility had fallen off of the foundation. He stopped in to see if he could help and has been here ever since!

Adrienne Molieri

Adrienne has been volunteering at the Nature Center since 2018. Her interests in birding and ecology started in high school and continued through college in Ohio. Bringing awareness of the beauty of nature to adults and children is her goal.

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Could Be You!!

See the top of the page for more information about Docenting here at the Center!


Newsletter

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