Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an admission fee?

No. Both the nature center building and the trails in Chisholm Creek Park are FREE to enjoy to the public. 

What are your hours?

The trails and Chisholm Creek Park are open dawn to dusk. 

The Great Plains Nature Center building is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed on all federal holidays. 

The Owl's Nest Gift Shop located within the nature center is open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism offices are open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Can I bring my pet to the park?

No. We do not allow pets on the trails as Chisholm Creek Park is a designated Wichita Wild Habitat Area and is home to an abundance of wildlife which may be harmed or bothered by pets. Please help us keep our park clean and healthy for wildlife by keeping pets at home. 

There are multiple dog parks in the city available for use for free and most city parks allow leashed dogs. If you live near Chisholm Creek Park and need a resource near you North Chisholm Creek Park just off Woodlawn is a great option!

Find out more: 
Wichita Dog Parks
What is a Wichita Wild Habitat Area?

Can I bring in an injured/orphaned animal?

No. The Great Plains Nature Center is not a licensed rehabilitation facility so we cannot take in injured or orphaned animals.

Kansas Rehabilitators List

Can I ride my bike/scooter/skateboard in the park?

No. Only pedestrians are allowed on the trails within Chisholm Creek Park for the safety of all visitors. The K-96 Bike Path does run around the park and allows bikes.

Bike Paths in Wichita

How do I reserve a picnic shelter?

Picnic shelters are reserved through the City of Wichita.

Picnic Reservation Information or call: (316) 268-4361

Can I collect plants/mushrooms/insects/etc from the park?

No. Please respect the flora and fauna you are visiting while in the park by leaving nothing but footprints, and taking nothing but photos. 

Where can I fish? Do I need a license?

Island Pond is the only part of the park that we allow fishing. It is catch and release only and artificial lures only. No live bait. 

You must have a fishing license if you are 16 years of age or older.

It is stocked with channel catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass.  

How do I become a member/friend?

Our Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center members help support our educational mission with monetary donations and get access to special Friends-only events. 

Become a Member

Can I bring my group out for a program?

Yes! We offer a variety of public programs which you can join or you can schedule a program with one of our Naturalists through our Program Coordinator, Lyndzee Rhine.

If you would like to bring a large group out and don't want a program, please still let us know so we can avoid conflicting schedules.

Public Programs  

Schedule a Program

What volunteer opportunities exist at the nature center?

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at the nature center and help is always appreciated!

Volunteer Information

Can I purchase America the Beautiful/National Park passes at the nature center?

Yes! They are available for purchase in our gift shop during select hours, please call ahead to see when they will be available: (316) 683-5499 ext. 111

You will need:

  • valid government photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc)
  • cash or check to process payment

There are several different passes available.

National Park Service Website

Can I rent out a space for an event?

No. We do not have an event space for public rental. 

We do however offer birthday parties with a guided hike and animal program. Scheduling is best done in advance, and is limited to staff availability.

Birthday Party Scheduling