Lafayette Nature Center


Lafayette Nature Center by Thorne Nature Experience

Grand Opening June 15, 2024 10am-8pm

Lafayette, Colorado

300 Old Laramie Trail E, Lafayette, CO 80026, United States


10000 Sq. Ft.


Age Group
All Ages

Thorne Nature Experience’s newest center, The Lafayette Nature Center has been created to build Earth stewards of the future and Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds (BNP) was instrumental in its development.

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds worked with the team at the Thorne Nature Center to develop an authentic nature experience with a focus on equitable access for a community that is severely underserved.

This sprawling 10,000 sq.ft environment offers equitable access to numerous play areas, community gathering spaces, pavilions and trails that connect to nearby Coal Creek. Visitors will travel past hundreds of trees, through tunnels and into caves, encountering opportunities to climb and strategize, engaging all senses and connecting children to nature in countless physical and imaginative ways.

“What was once an industrial site (10 months ago) is now a world-class outdoor community hub that will benefit thousands of people for years to come. Our mission aligns with the founding principles of Dr. Oakleigh Thorne II, who has been connecting children to nature for six decades. He said that children of all ages and abilities have a right to be in and have access to nature. This legacy and commitment is one that we are proud to have been involved in from start to completion.” Adam Bienenstock, Founder of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds.


Based less than a mile from Boulder County’s highest-poverty school, the center is a community hub for nature connection, ensuring nature for all.

The center includes a nature programming space, a nature play area, a community gathering space, and Thorne’s offices. The center is designed to get kids outside to experience nature rather than having them come inside to learn about nature through exhibits. The Lafayette Nature Center isn’t just the building- it is the entire property!

Lafayette Nature Center Lafayette Nature Center


“When we were embarking on this ambitious build, we knew we wouldn’t be successful without the support of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, their expertise in designing and building nature play areas clearly sets them apart from the competition. Even more important is that they are a values driven company that walks side by side with their clients to ensure the project is a complete success. Anyone “trying” to edge into nature play will never deliver the way this team does.” Keith Desrosiers, Executive Director of Thorne Nature Experience.

Children get an early tour of the Lafayette Nature Center ahead of the grand opening.

Children get an early tour of the Lafayette Nature Center ahead of the grand opening.