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Placer Nature Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Environment, Environmental Education, Youth Development Programs


The educational programsof Placer Nature Center evoke a sense of discovery andwonder about our place on earth. The workof Placer Nature Center helps us understand that our dailychoices impact the environmental, social and economic well-being of the planet.This is essential, because a healthy world means the world to us.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000

Geographic areas served: Placer County, as well as neighboring: Nevada, El Dorado, Sacramento


Weengage students in learning through real-world, hands-on experiences with afocus on environmental literacy, science and nature. All our programs aredesigned to meet the California Content Standards in science, natural andcultural history and social studies.


Studentslearn about the total environment to engage, encourage and inspire. Hands-onnature investigations and learning helps develop the capacities for creativity,problem-solving, and emotional and intellectual development.


They gainunderstanding of how humans interact with and are dependent on naturalecosystems. Students learn to connect their daily actions with the health ofthe world, which supports a feeling of personal responsibility andaccountability which spills over into all aspects of students' education.


Studentsdevelop critical-thinking skills to resolve important and pressingenvironmental concerns. All programs are presented by staff naturalists andtrained volunteer docents who actively engage students using aninterdisciplinary and interactive approach.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have been a docent at Placer Nature Center since 1994 and have seen thousands of school children enjoy all that the center has to offer. This is a little jewel of a place tucked into a corner of Auburn that needs to be brought to the attention of everyone in our community. It may be the only place in our areas where children are taught to appreciate and care about our natural environment.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Placer Nature Center is the local environmental education equivalent of the "little engine that could". With an enthusiastic group of volunteers and a tiny, but very energetic staff, PNC provides outdoor education to thousands of school children each year. In addition, Placer Nature Center delivers programs for families on weekend days, and provides a wonderful science/sustainability/nature lecture series to the Placer County community each year. As a board member and volunteer docent, I have met many good people who not only want a healthy natural and social environment in our community, but who are helping to build it!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Placer Nature Center provides children and their families with the opportunity to enjoy, learn about and appreciate nature through the self-guided exploration of a wonderful nature center, as well as through guided school tours, special discovery days, summer camps and outreach activities. Tens of thousands of children have been touched by the nature center since it opened twenty years ago. When I first moved to the area five years ago, I quickly realized that the Placer Nature Center is THE leader in environmental education within the region. My family has participated in many of the excellent programs and activities and now I proudly serve on the Board of Directors. The Placer Nature Center is critical to ensuring the health, well being and sustainability of Placer County's residents -- human and wild -- for generations to come. Please support our efforts and join us to celebrate 20 years of success.

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 5

I've only helped with the summer camp, but that was enough to realize that the Placer Nature Center is a great place for kids and adults alike to get a close experience with nature. The kids have so much fun at the summer camp, they look up to their counselors and meet new friends! I even enjoyed the activities! They're utilities are a great example of how to green your home fairly easy, such as: the compost bins, the garden, and the pond. I specifically like watching to birds wash themselves near the pond in the clay pan that (I'm assuming) was set out for them every morning. I definitely think it was worth the drive from Roseville, and I'm hoping to take every opportunity to help as I can.



Rating: 5

Volunteering at the Placer Nature Center was a life changing experience for me. I stared helping out office staff and getting a chance to work with the volunteer docents and seeing how they worked with the school field trips. Seeing the expressions on the kids faces and watching how the interacting with the docents I soon became a docent myself. I love how fun the schools groups are and how the kids come alive with each activity. Placer Nature Center is now my 2nd home for not only me but my 2 year old who just enjoys the hikes, garden, and the live bee hive. Thanks to Placer Nature Center I've been able to bond with my daughter doing outdoor activities and realized where my heart truly lyes.


Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started redesigning the nature center's website. What was originally a simple site with maybe 10 pages, now has over 75 (and growing with the thanks of other volunteers). I didn't realize all the different programs the nature center offered - with a tiny staff and an equally tiny budget. The more I researched the more surprised I was. This little nature center is truly a community supported, community run and a community based organization!