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.


MON – SAT.    10 am – 4 pm
Sundays   Closed

Closed Holidays

Center upcoming events

Feb 01


February 1, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Feb 01


February 1, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Feb 06


February 6, 2019 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Things To Do

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

Special Programs

Catch Of Cape May

An Annual Benefit for the Nature Center of Cape May

Now in its 5th year, the “Catch of Cape May” is very well-established as the signature event that supports New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May while at the same time celebrating one of this region’s key economic engines. Hosted by the staff and volunteers of the Nature Center of Cape May, the “Catch,” as it is now called, is a truly unique event held appropriately enough, at Cape May’s beautiful Harborview Park. The “Catch” is a unique event for three primary reasons. First, is the broad spectrum of individuals who support the event. Supporters include both full-time and seasonal residents who are actively engaged in the political and economic life of this region. Second is the venue. Overlooking Schellengers Creek and the fishing fleet at Cold Spring, Harborview Park provides the perfect setting for a summer evening event. Third, the “Catch” showcases Cape May’s epicurean diversity by featuring local selections of seafood and much more. Finally, and most significantly, the “Catch” is just plain fun, as it delivers a night of live music, dancing and dining while overlooking Cape May’s magnificent harbor.


Saturday, July 21
6:00pm to 10:00pm

Harbor Lane at Texas Avenue Cape May, NJ

An all-inclusive evening fundraiser highlighting local cuisine, live music, silent auction and fun held at the scenic Harborview Park on the Cape May Harbor. Proceeds support  New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May’s mission of 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.

Open Bar
Beer, Wine & Signature Cocktails

Butlered Hors d’oeuvres
Oyster Bar
Dancing with the Sugarfoot Band – Dinner Buffet by Executive Catering
Live & Silent Auctions
Guests 21 and over

$3,000.00 Full-Service Table
$1,200.00 Table for 10
$250.00 Friends of Nature Center of Cape May
$100.00 per person

Call 609-427-3045
Reserve soon – Space is limited


Nature Center Summer Camp 2018 Online Registration is Open!

We look forward to sharing the wonders of nature with your child/children this summer. NJ Audubon has a long history of connecting children of all ages with nature by exploring, discovering and enjoying our harbor, fields, oceans and beach. Our staff is committed to guiding your child in outdoor adventures that foster a deeper connection with the natural world and that are engaging, fun and informative. Our summer education team is highly trained, and we provide additional educators and interns to maintain optimal teacher-child ratios.

We offer camps for Pre-K through teens. Please note that 3-year-olds must have reached their third birthday before the date they are attending. They must be potty-trained.

We are using a new on-line registration program. Our camps are designed around a complete week of lessons and activities. Some of the camps such as the Adventure Camps are only offered as a full week option. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOUR CHILD PARTICIPATE IN A FULL WEEK OF ANY CAMP SESSION OFFERED. We do know that in some cases attending a full week is not possible for your child so a daily alternative is available with our Discovery Kids camps where you may select which days to attend.

For any questions about registration, please contact Chris Hansen, at or call 609-427-3045

We will have lectures in the classroom and time in the field to learn different tricks and techniques to turn tiny stretches of terrain into premium garden space.

This club will help anyone develop a green thumb and is the perfect way to grow your nature knowledge and stewardship towards our planet.

Call today to reserve your spot!

SPRING WEEKEND NATIVE PLANT SALE continues until supplies are gone

CLEARANCE SALE! All perennials $5 each. Buy one get a free common milkweed plug! Wow! What a deal!!! All shrubs, any size now just $13

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.

Take a look at the list below


Botanical Name Common Name
Allium cernuum Nodding Onion
Amorpha fruticosa False Indigo Bush
Anaphalis margaritacea Pearly Everlasting
Antirrhinum majus Snapdragon ANNUAL
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine
Asclepias curassavica Tropical Milkweed ANNU
Asclepias incarnata108 Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias purpurascens Purple Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed
Baptisia australes Blue Wild Indigo
Baptisia tinctoria Yellow Wild Indigo
Borage herb     ANNU
Calendula Calendula  ANNU
Caryopteris incana Blue Mist Shrub NN
Chelone glabra Turtlehead
Chrysopsis mariana Maryland Goldenaster   NN
Conoclinium coelestinum Blue Mist Hardy Ageratum
Coreopsis grandiflora Largeflower Tickseed
Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ Moonbeam Coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata Lanceleaf Coreopsis
Coreopsis rosea Pink Coreopsis
Coreopsis tripteris Tall Tickseed
Cosmos Various spp.
Delphinium ssp. Blue Delphinium
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower
Echinops bannaticus NN Globe Thistle
Eryngium yuccifolium Rattlesnake Master
Eupatorium purpureum Joe Pye
Eurybia divaricata White Wood Aster
Foeniculum vulgare Fennel NN  ANNU
Gaillardia aristata Blanket Flower
Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium
Helenium autumnale Autumn Sneezeweed
Helianthus mollis Downy Sunflower
Heliopsis helianthoides Oxeye Sunflower
Heuchera americana Coral Bells /Alum Root
Delphinium luteum Larkspur   ANNU
Liatris spicata Blazing Star
Lobelia siphilitica Blue Lobelia
Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot
Monarda punctata Spotted Bee Balm
Nepeta racemosa Walkers Low Catmint NN
Oenothera spp Sun Drops
Parthenocissus quinquifolia Virginia Creeper vine
Penstemon digitalis Foxglove Beardtongue
Phlox carolinia Carolina Phlox
Phlox drummundii Annual Red
Phlox paniculata Garden Phlox
Phlox stolonifera Creeping Phlox
Polemonium reptans Jacob’s Ladder
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium Slender Mountain Mint
Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm’ Black-Eyed Susan
Salvia coccinea Texas Sage Red ANNUAL
Salvia farinacea Mealy Cup Sage (tender perenn)
Solidago caesia Blue Stem Goldenrod
Solidago odora Scented Goldenrod
Solidago rugosa”Fireworks” RoughStemGoldenrod
Solidago sempervirens Seaside Goldenrod
Symphyotrichum cordifolium Blue Wood Aster
Symphyotrichum laeve Blue Smooth aster
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae New England Aster
Symphyotrichum novi-belgii New York Aster
Symphyotrichum oblongifolia Aromatic Aster
Tiarella cordifolia Foam Flower
Tithonia rotounda Mexican Sunflower  ANNU
Verbena bonariensis Brazilian Vervain ANNUAL NN
Verbesina alterniflora Wingstem
Vernonia glauca Upland Ironweed
Vernonia noveboracensis NY Ironweed
Waldsteinia fragaroides Barren Strawberry
Zinnia Zinnia ANNU


Botanical Name Common Name
Aronia melanocarpa Black Chokeberry
Cercis canadensis Eastern Redbud
Clethra alnifolia Sweetpepper Bush
Cornus florida White Flowering Dogwood
Hamamelis virginiana Witchhazel
Hydrangea quercifolia Hydrangea
Ilex glabra “Densa” Inkberry Densa
Ilex opaca American Holly
Juniperus virginiana Red Cedar
Kalmia langustifolia Mountain Laurel
Lindera benzoin Spicebush
Magnolia virginiana Sweet Bay Magnolia
Myrica pensylvanica Northern Bayberry
Prunus maritima Beach Plum
Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush Blueberry “Duke”
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood Viburnum



Bonus Workshop

How to Attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Garden (May 19) Workshop
10:00am to Noon

A Special workshop and nature walk coincides with the first day of the plant sale to assist the novice as well as experienced gardener slect the right plants for the right spot to attract wildlife to your yard.  We will also discuss what visitors each plant will attract and when they bloom so that you can orchestrate a whole year of symphony with plants blooming.

$10 for members and $12 for non-members

Staff & Personnel

Gretchen Whitman
Sanctuary Director

Christine Hansen
Nature Store Associate/Administrative Assistant

Brendan Schaffer
Teacher Naturalist

Fred Beyer, Paige Cunningham, Evelyn Lovitz, Margeaux Maerz, Hal Miller, Pat Sutton, Betty Jean Webersinn and Phil Zimmerman.

Mark Allen
Public Relations Volunteer

Meg Miller
Administrative Assistant Volunteer

Evelyn Lovitz
E-newsletter Volunteer

Contact Us

1600 Delaware Avenue
Cape May, NJ 08204