Ankeny Hill Nature Center

Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, in partnership with Salem Audubon and the Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, have created an environmental education hub for the Mid Valley: the Ankeny Hill Nature Center.

The Ankeny Hill Nature Center is on 25 acres that include an indoor and outdoor classroom, two accessible trails, a Nature Explore Area and education nodes. That's just the 1st phase with expansion to the center coming soon!

The Ankeny Hill Nature Center is dedicated to being as inclusive and accessible as possible.  Visit anytime from dawn to dusk!  It's always free. 


Mission Statement

The Center provides educational and interpretive opportunities to connect people with nature and to instill a sense of environmental stewardship.

Visit Us

The Center takes advantage of its location at the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge to provide multiple educational environments including classrooms, the Nature Explore area for kids, outlooks and learning stations along accessible pathways and discovery elements throughout the Refuge.

Ankeny Hill Nature Center is creating ways to make it easy for people of all ages and interests to make visits to The Center personally rewarding. From school children to conservancy organizations, special interest groups to scouts, our mission is to make The Center a focal point of community life.

Access is always free from dawn to dusk. The Mark Gehlar Building has indoor and outdoor classrooms, easily reserved for use.


The Ankeny Hill Nature Center also has an active volunteer program, and we would love your help!  Habitat Stewards, Weed Warriors and Education Volunteers are just a few of the opportunities.  Reach out to our Volunteer Coordinators for more information, orientation dates/times and community volunteer days:

Future Plans

The building of Phase I of the Ankeny Hill Nature Center began in 2017 with construction of the Mark Gehlar Hall and related trails and outdoor exploration areas. Gehlar Hall includes both an indoor classroom, a covered outdoor classroom with lab space, office and storage. The Hall is

climate controlled with fresh water, restrooms, internet connectivity, and audio-video presentation equipment.

Phase II will begin in 2023 with the construction of the David Marshall classroom.


Interested in learning more? Check out their website Ankeny Hill Nature Center and plan your next visit!