Swaner Eco Center | ParkRecord.com

Swaner Eco Center

Hunter Klingensmith, left, admires a herd of elk with Sallie Rinderknecht through binoculars during a Winter Wetland Excursion at the Swaner Preserve on Saturday, February 3, 2018. The event welcomed a group of 25 people onto the preserve to learn about winter wetland ecology. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
Tanzi Propst

In partnership with Utah State University, the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter will help you get back to nature. They host weekly nature tours, classes, and lectures, with exhibits, meeting spaces and a unique gift shop as well. There’s a climbing wall and an observation tower, so you can watch for critters in their 1,200 acres of lush meadow. You might spot a fox, coyote, elk, beaver, and lots of other things if you are patient.

Just north of Park City in Kimball Junction, their mission is to preserve the land and human connection, educate the community about nature, and nurture the ecosystem. It’s a great outdoor laboratory and attracts photographers, birdwatchers, and families. There are 10 miles of trails if you feel like stretching your legs. They’ve restored parts of East Canyon Creek, planted 40 acres with native seeds, and removed 75 acres of invasive species.

Every Sunday, try out the climbing wall, or take a guided snowshoe tour out into the preserve. Learn about the hidden natural world within, or let a naturalist explain how every life form depends on each other. It’s Craft Sunday for kids too throughout the winter, and Little Naturalist classes on every other Monday. It’s a wonderful outdoor laboratory.

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