Outdoors & Recreation Nature Center

Jarrett Prairie Center Natural History Museum

Byron, IL - Ogle County
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Details

The Jarrett Prairie Center Museum is newly renovated and the expanded museum space boasts amazing views of the Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve and more than 4,000 square feet of new exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.  Just a few of the exciting new exhibits include an immersive theater that tells visitors about local prairie ecology, several large natural history and historical dioramas, fossil exhibits, prairie restoration information, and a prairie agriculture exhibits that lets visitors design their own farm. Also included in the renovation will be a new 2,600 square foot wrap-around outdoor observation deck.  The museum’s new immersive theater features the beloved children’s “wolf den” bur oak tree from the old museum.

The museum serves as a resource for learning and a center for eco-tourism promoting an understanding of the importance of our natural lands in the Rock River region. Admission to the Jarrett Prairie Center Museum is free and open to the public seven days a week.


Award-winning museum – June 2017

2017—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announced that the Byron Forest Preserve District is the recipient of an Award of Merit for the Jarrett Prairie Center Museum Renovation Project. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 72nd year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

In fall of 2016, the Jarrett Prairie Center Museum opened its totally renovated 4,000-square-foot museum with new permanent exhibits that focused on interpreting the relationship of people with the surrounding prairie. The new exhibits tell the story of Northern Illinois’ vanishing local heritage resource…the tallgrass prairie ecosystem…and the complexity of people’s interactions with it in the past, present, and future. Corporate sponsors were Byron Bank, Prairie Forge Group, and OSF St. Anthony Medical Center.

In 2017, AASLH was proud to confer forty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.

 

Located at the main site of the Byron Forest Preserve, the Jarrett Prairie Center has unique banquet rooms on two levels with a 2600-square-foot wrap-around deck on the main level. The deck and museum at the Jarrett Prairie Center overlook 460 acres of natural prairie. There are also beautiful views of the Rock River Valley.

2 levels can accommodate over 400 people

By utilizing both levels of the building, Jarrett can accommodate over 400 people. The lower level has been completely remodeled recently. Amenities include bar service, kitchen areas, handicapped accessibility, and outdoor areas for ceremonies, receptions, etc. Patrons can bring in their own food or caterer.

Wedding packages are available.

 

Meeting Types:

  • Business Meetings
  • Weddings
  • Family Reunions
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