The Nature Institute

2213 South Levis Lane, Godfrey IL 62035 | 618.466.9930
Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau

The Nature Institute (TNI) is a non-profit land conservation and environmental education organization that works to foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world through preservation, restoration, and education. It manages over 450 acres of protected land, such as the Olin Nature Preserve, the Mississippi Sanctuary, the Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary, and the Heartland Prairie Project at Gordon Moore Park. These natural areas provide unique places for the public to experience the diversity of the riverbend area with its hardwood forests, prairies and wetlands. Due to their location on or near the Mississippi River flyway, these natural areas are a great place to view migrating waterfowl, bald eagles during winter, and a variety of other wildlife. There are numerous hiking opportunities through the natural areas. Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary has an easy .4-mile trail that is perfect to watch the prairie grow and view pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. The Olin Nature Preserve has a variety of trails from a .5-mile flat easy trail which include a view of the Mississippi River and a chance to hear wildlife to the 3 mile difficult trail with multiple inclines. The 1.5 mile Rock Trail takes you through Hop Hollow, a valley that was served as a major entry point on the Underground Railroad. The Heartland Prairie has an interpretive trail that teaches visitors about plant life and more along the route. The preserves are open to the public and free to use from dawn to dusk. 

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