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Nisqually Reach Nature Center
4949 D'Milluhr Dr. NE
Olympia WA 98516-2311
0 (360) 459-0387
OUR MISSION: Nisqually Reach Nature Center is a volunteer-run, membership-supported, nonprofit organization that promotes the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the Nisqually estuarine ecosystem and its integral role in the local environment, history, and culture, through interpretation, education, and research.
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NRNC has been offering estuarine environmental education at Luhr Beach since 1982. Through the years, our emphasis has changed from general public outreach to our current focus on providing supplemental classroom, laboratory, and field trip opportunities for schools in Thurston and Pierce counties and beyond. In a typical year, upwards of 2,000 school kids, mostly in grades 5 through 12, visit the Nature Center with their teachers and parents. We also support and sponsor estuarine research opportunities for South Puget Sound college students.
NRNC has four AWESOME salt water aquariums with a wide variety of species from South Puget Sound including Sea Stars, Sea Cucumbers, Dungeness Crabs, Red Rock Crabs, Anemones, and much more! We're open to the public Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Other exhibits include over 30 bird taxidermies, fossils, animal pelts, and much, much more. Come check us out!
We also host and perform a variety of research from the Nature Center within South Puget Sound. This includes Forage Fish surveys, Pigeon Guillemot surveys, and more. NRNC is the site proponent for the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve and we help support research and outreach about the reserve.
We receive use of our building through a cooperative agreement with the Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, which also maintains a boat launch here at Luhr Beach.