Please refer to our COVID-19 resource page for the latest information on NJ Audubon’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis, center closings and postponed programming.  

The Nature Center’s mission focuses in providing quality environmental education experiences, encouraging stewardship of the harbor area and other natural areas, and promoting volunteerism as a rewarding means of community involvement and service.

The Nature Center of Cape May was founded in 1992, with the twin goals of creating a responsible stewardship program for open space surrounding Cape May Harbor and providing environmental education for people of all ages. The Center’s focus on “hands-on” activities reflects a philosophy of personal responsibility for education.

Adopted by the New Jersey Audubon Society in 1995, the Nature Center of Cape May is one of nine staffed nature centers throughout the state. The environmental education campus, located on the shores of beautiful Cape May Harbor in Cape May, includes the Trucksess Welcome Center, a three-story observation tower, indoor observation lounge, three classrooms, exhibit aquaria, a small gift shop, and multiple themed display gardens. The harbor and adjacent area provide natural classrooms that are used in the center’s programs. In addition, the nature center is close to a diversity of habitats, which are easily incorporated into its programs.

The nature center offers a full schedule of natural history programs for the general public throughout the year. A wide variety of group educational programs are available as well, either at the Nature Center of Cape May or at alternate sites such as outdoor habitats, schools, or clubs.


September 15th to October 31st
Monday – Saturday
10:00am – 4:00pm
Closed Sunday

Please Note:

The Nature Center of Cape May is closed to the public, except for scheduled programs and special events, from October 31st to April 15th.  Please refer to our Facebook Page for any last minute announcements

Center upcoming events

Apr 02

Harborside Chats (Postponed)

April 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Apr 02
Apr 09

Harborside Chats (Postponed)

April 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Things To Do

  • Family Programs
  • Live Animals
  • Aquariums
  • Nature Nook
  • Nature Trail and bird blind
  • Exhibit gallery from local artists
  • Nature store
  • Second story viewing deck
  • Third story viewing tower
  • Kayaking & Paddle Boarding

Special Programs

Nature Center Summer Camp 2020 Online Registration is Open

The Nature Center of Cape May Nature Camps are State of New Jersey Summer Camp Certified

New Jersey Audubon looks forward to sharing the wonders of nature with your child this summer.  We are committed to guiding your child in outdoor adventures that foster a deeper connection with the natural world and that support S.T.E.A.M learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) through hands-on experiences.

NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May has a long history of connecting children of all ages with nature by exploring, discovering and enjoying our harbor, ocean, beach, fields and gardens.  There is much to learn from the diverse habitats of Cape May, and our quest for knowledge is never dull when pulling a seine net through the water or walking with magnifying glass in hand.  We explore a different topic each week throughout the summer, building upon knowledge each day with a talented team of Teacher Naturalists. Our staff is committed to guiding your child in outdoor adventures that foster a deeper connection with the natural world and while being engaging, fun and informative.

We offer camps for Pre-K through teens.

Early Bird Pricing is through March 15, 2020

Please review the following for 2020
Medical and Special Needs Policy
Immunization Guidelines
Behavior Agreement

MEMBERSHIP TO NJ AUDUBON is required for camp registration


  • What to Bring to Day Camp

Children should wear old sneakers, water shoes or sandals with straps around the heel.  NO flip flops!  Wearing old, play clothes is highly encouraged as we will be exploring nature outside and will be getting dirty!

We suggest applying sunscreen and/or insect repellent at home and have your child wash their hands so that there is no residue left on their hands for when they may be handling animals.

Cancellation Policy – If you cancel more than 30 days before the start date of the camp session, NJ Audubon will issue a full refund minus a $30 processing fee for each camp session cancelled.  There are no refunds for cancellations less than 30 days of the camp session.  Medical/disaster cancellations will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  If such cancellation is made through special consideration, NJ Audubon will refund camp fee less a $30 processing fee for each camp session.  NJ Audubon does not refund membership fees.


1600 Delaware Avenue
Cape May, NJ 08204


Registration Questions? – contact Alicia Calkins ([email protected])
Camp Theme/Activity Questions? – contact Brendan Schaffer ([email protected])

Native Plant Sale, Saturday and Sunday May 18-19 10am-4pm

Dutchman’s breeches
Dutchman’s breeches
Virginia Bluebells
Virginia Bluebells
Common blue violet
Common blue violet

Your gardens will be the buzz, tweet, and talk of the neighborhood when you get off to a good start with top-quality plants.  We emphasize the use of New Jersey native plants, which benefit wildlife and have a strong ornamental appeal for your landscape.  Some non-native (but non-invasive) perennials and annuals, which offer an added boost to butterfly gardens, will also be available.

Wild bleeding heart
Wild bleeding heart
Jacobs ladder
Jacobs ladder
Moss phlox
Moss phlox
Woodland phlox
Woodland phlox

The goal of NJ Audubon’s educational programs is to help children understand their relationship to the natural world. Our naturalists steer and focus the activities, tailoring them to meet each group’s needs and abilities, to encourage individual and small group discovery.  Our hands-on, interdisciplinary activities supplement traditional classes by meeting the NJ Core Curriculum content Standards using inquiry-based learning methods and promoting exploration of our native habitats. Programs are approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour in length, except where noted.


$150.00 per one hour program for groups up to 25 students, added mileage of $30.00 for going to off-site field locations


$200.00 for the first program
$100.00 for each repeat of the program on the same day

For more information on these programs or to customize an unforgettable educational experience contact:

Program Coordinator Brendan Schaffer at 609-400-3858 or [email protected]

Staff & Personnel

Gretchen Whitman
Sanctuary Director

Alicia Calkins
Nature Store Associate/Administrative Assistant

Brendan Schaffer
Teacher Naturalist

Hal Miller and Steve Scheff

Mark Allen
Public Relations Volunteer

Meg Miller
Administrative Assistant Volunteer

Evelyn Lovitz
E-newsletter Volunteer

Contact Us

1600 Delaware Avenue
Cape May, NJ 08204

[email protected]