Lilly Nature Center

nature center front

The Lilly Nature Center opened on October 10, 1999
frog bar
Hours of Operation
Information Office (765-775-5172)

Wednesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
This text was taken from the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation website regarding the Lilly Nature Center.  The Lilly Nature Center hosts monthly free environmental education programs. Information on the times and programs for both the nature center and the Celery Bog Nature Area can be obtained by calling the Tippecanoe County Naturalist at 765-567-2993. Information regarding renting the center can be found at the Morton Center (765-775-5120).  Click here for rental information, rates and/or a rental application.

The Nature Area –                                       
In 1993, West Lafayette began to implement a plan to conserve and promote the Celery Bog by developing a public nature area and a nature center. Eli Lilly Tippecanoe Laboratories and the Lilly Foundation began making contributions for the development of the planned nature center in the same year. This allowed the acquisition of two parcels of land (36-acres) and the opening of the Celery Bog Nature Area in the fall of 1995.

The Celery Bog is now listed as one of the state’s “significant ecological sites” by the Indiana Natural Heritage Program. Over the past 10 years, the nature area has grown to contain nearly 100 acres of wetlands and adjoining woods and fields. Federal and state grants, primarily administered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, have been the driving force behind continuing land acquisition efforts. The nature area, along with the adjacent Kampen Golf Course, protects most of the 185-acre bog from encroaching development in a major growth corridor between the West Lafayette and Wabash Township. The current goal is to obtain at least 200 acres of land encompassing the bog for management as a regional conservation and recreation resource. 

The Nature Center –                                                                                                                                                        runner2   
In 1998 West Lafayette contracted with Woolpert Consultants and Tecton Construction Management to design and provide construction management for the nature center. The consultants, W
cattail trailest Lafayette Park Board and Celery Bog Advisory Committe all collaborated to create the most acceptable design for the Lilly Nature Center. Five area contractors (J. R. Kelly, Poindexter Excavating, Cyr Plumbing, Huston Electric, and Mays Roofing) were contracted to construct the nature center.
Funding for construction of the nature center is a four-way partnership between the City of West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Park Board, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Eli Lilly Tippecanoe Laboratories and Lilly Foundation. Furthermore, several contributions (over $20,000) have been made to the West Lafayette Parks and Recreation Foundation for the nature center project. These contributions are being used in a variety of ways such as:  furnishings, exhibits, and the sound system for the birdwatching area.
marsh display
 Display of marsh environment  
bird room
The bird observatory room  
Construction of the nature center was completed in 1999 and a new conference room added in 2001. These rooms provide the space needed for classes, projects, programs, institutes and other events to be held in the nature center, without disrupting normal public use. There is a meeting space for 75 people in theatre, 48 in classroom, and 38 in meeting style seating. The nature center also  has state-of-the-art audio-visual presentation equipment available for use and a deck outside the conference room.cyclist
Cattail Trail is a joint project between the City of West Lafayette and the Indiana Department of Transportation to provide convenient pedestrian and bicyclist access to the nature center and surrounding area. Currently 4 miles of trails have been completed, with one mile of the trail containing interprative signs. The network of trails connects the nature center to Northwestern Avenue, Cherry Lane, Lindberg Road and McCormick Road.  Click here to see a map of the trails.

Open Trails

cyclist2    open trails    runner1

Celery Bog Home


Bog or  Marsh?

Wetland Development

Wetland Hydrology



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