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Facility & Equipment Rentals

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Facility Rentals

Westwood Hills Nature Center has several facilities that are available for rent. Each facility is located at the main center address, 8300 W. Franklin Ave. For more information about the facilities, call 952.924.2544.

Lower Picnic Building

Located near the parking lot, this picnic building has an open design that is great for meetings, parties and more. Windows on three sides of this fully-accessible building offer beautiful views of the nature center grounds and the playground. The lower picnic building also has restrooms and a sink. 

  • Availability — May to September, excluding Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Pending prior approval, rental of the building may be available outside of the normal rental months. 
  • Cost — $60 per hour (resident), $70 per hour (non-resident) both with two-hour minimum
  • Capacity — 25
  • Damage Deposit — $200 (refundable)

Waterfall Observation Deck

Looking for a scenic location for a small wedding, photo shoot or outdoor meeting space? Enjoy the background view of the water garden as you watch the water flow over the top of the six-foot-high waterfall and tumble down the hillside! From the accessible observation deck you can see the full view of the waterfall, water garden, Westwood Lake and surrounding woods. 

  • Availability — May to September
  • Cost — $50 per hour (resident), $75 per hour (non-resident)
  • Capacity — 25
  • Damage Deposit — $100 (refundable)

Outdoor Water Garden

The water garden is another exclusive and scenic location for your weddings, events or photo shoots. It features over 100 native Minnesota plants blooming throughout the summer season as well as streams, waterfalls and a pond with native Minnesota fish. Stroll along the accessible crushed rock paths, across bridges and gaze into the pond to see the fish. There are rock bench areas for taking photos or to relax and enjoy the view. Rent separately or consider adding this option to your waterfall observation deck rental. 

  • Availability — May to September
  • Cost — $100 per hour (resident), $150 per hour (non-resident) 
  • Damage Deposit — $100 (refundable)

Equipment Rentals

A picture ID is required with all equipment rentals. A valid credit card is also required for snowshoeing, kicksleds, canoes and park pack rentals.

Snowshoeing and Kicksleds

  • Cost — $5 per hour (resident), $6 per hour (non-resident)


  • Cost — $15 per two hours (resident), $20 per two hours (non-resident)

Nature Center Park Packs

If you are looking for something new to do with your family, check out one of the Park Packs. The packs are filled with nature activities designed for hands-on field investigations for all ages. Park Packs include: self-guided hikes, tools for investigation, art activities, poetry, stories, music and games that fit the pack’s theme. Each park pack has a different theme. Themes include: insects, ponds, reptiles and amphibians, night, mammals, wildflowers, forests and trees and birds. These themed packs are free to use thanks to a grant from Waste Management Inc. for supplies and backpack donations from Hoigaard’s Inc.

Fishing Equipment

  • Cost — no fee