Nature & Visitor Center

The Crane Trust is home to a beautiful Nature and Visitor Center that welcomes guests to the Crane Trust’s rare, protected lands year round—and to the great sandhill crane migration in the spring.

You’ll have full access to the center and when you venture outside, you’ll encounter our butterfly garden, a herd of American bison and roughly 10 miles of nature trails along the Platte River.

» The Hornady Art Gallery

ctnvc-2012-crane-season-29(1)The Hornady Art Gallery showcases beautiful work by regional artists and photographers with Nebraska ties and subject materials. Shows rotate on a bi-monthly basis and have featured painters including Cynthia Duff and Donna Reiners Binfield, and photographers including Rick Rasmussen and Jorn Olsen.

Artists/photographers interested in displaying in the gallery may contact Karen Krull Robart, Special Events Manager, at

» Wild About Nature Display

KioskThe large sign in the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center parking lot reads, “A Welcome Place for Friends & Nature.” A welcome place indeed, as the recorded sounds of sandhill cranes fill the air to introduce visitors from throughout the region and beyond to a wealth of indoor/outdoor experiences and information.

GraphicsOnce inside, visitors will find larger-than-life murals and window graphics depicting Nebraska’s spring migration of sandhill cranes; native wildlife exhibits; and 70-inch touch-screen displays programmed with the latest information on surrounding habitats and Crane Trust research/conservation programs. Also, one of only three special travel kiosks in the state — sponsored by the Nebraska Tourism Commission – gives travelers easy access to updates on attractions and events across the state.

The displays were made possible with the generous support of Renze Display, Tom Mangelsen – Images of Nature, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

» The Crimson Crown Gift Shop

The Crimson Crown Gift Shop is a unique specialty shop, which offers a variety of gifts for the nature lover. There are items for all ages; many created by local artists. We carry a variety of crane-related items, which are collected by crane lovers from around the world. The proceeds from our store go back into the local community through support of local artists and also by supporting the Crane Trust’s mission of maintaining habitat vital to cranes and other migratory birds. Because of Crane Trust efforts, the Platte River Valley continues to be the world’s best viewing area for the spring migration of both sandhill and whooping cranes. Support wildlife, the community and the great state of Nebraska by stopping by the Crimson Crown Gift Shop today!

» Butterfly Garden

butterflySummer is the season for flowering plants and wildlife to abound on the Crane Trust’s native prairie lands. The butterfly garden behind the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a picnic. It’s located just outside the doors and from the garden it is just a short walk to the Crane Trust’s bison exhibition herd down the trail.

With the help of staff and volunteers, the garden was designed to provide food sources desirable to butterfly larvae, while adults would probe flowers for nectar. The Crane Trust hosts several events in this space including a Wine & Music Evening Under the Stars in the fall.

» Rent Our Facility

Our easy access from Interstate 80 makes Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center the perfect spot to host your next event! Rental spaces available are the central meeting room, executive boardroom, and catering kitchen. The building includes an art gallery, gift shop, outdoor picnic area, small bison herd, and nature trails along the north channel of the Platte River. Building is handicap accessible and ideal for groups of almost any size. Call today, 308-382-1820, for more information and to book your event.


Executive Boardroom

The room accommodates up to 17 people. The rectangular table provided comfortably seats 13. Room comes equipped with dim and full lighting, TV, DVD player, and wall mounted white board. Wireless internet access is available. The room is quiet, comfortable, and secluded, with outside windows.

  • $200/Half Day (Monday – Friday)
  • $300/Full Day (Monday – Friday)
  • $300/Half Day (Saturday and evenings)
  • $450/Full Day (Saturday and evenings)
Central Meeting Room

Accommodates 100 people lecture style or 90 people banquet style at rectangular tables. Round banquet tables are available and can seat up to 48 comfortably. Room comes equipped with dim and full lighting, 2 big screen TVs, DVD player, sound system, and projection screen wall. Wireless internet access is available. The room is lined with Nebraska art work. Executive Boardroom can be added to this rental, when available, for an additional $50.

  • $300 Monday – Friday
  • $450 Saturday and evenings

Rental times are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. All other times are considered after hours and are billed at the evening rate. Rates include coffee service in the morning and ice water in the afternoon.