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 +

Crane Trust Nature and Visitor CenterThe Hornady Art Gallery showcases beautiful work by regional artists and photographers with Nebraska ties and subject materials. Shows rotate and have featured artists including Rick Rasmussen, Pat Branting, Julia Noyes and Debra Joy Groesser.

Artists/photographers interested in displaying in the gallery may contact Wendy Bailey 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  and other organizations have hosted a variety of events in this space, including a Wine & Music Under the Stars event and evening bonfires during fall events.

» 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. Contact us for rates.

Central Meeting Room

Accommodates 100 people lecture style or 75 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, 3 big screen TVs, DVD player and sound system. Wireless internet access is available. The room is lined with Nebraska art work. Contact us for rates.

Day time rental times are Monday through Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM depending on availability. Evening and weekend bookings are possible, please call for availability.