Field Station

What is the Field Station?

The "Field Station" is the name of the main exhibit hall at the Anita Purves Nature Center. There, visitors are encouraged to step into the world of a naturalist's research station and collections. In this hands-on space, you can observe "biofacts" (natural artifacts) and live animals up-close and learn about local nature that is as close as your backyard.


The west side of the exhibit hall is designed to be the "porch" where you can encounter a "backyard" of living exhibits. As you step off the porch, you are immersed in the habitats native to East-central Illinois: woodland and prairie. The floor is textured like soil complete with tracks from local animals. On the west wall you find a prairie landscape mural. The landscape blends into a late summer/early fall woodland view on the east wall and extends to the ceiling where a clouded sky is painted. The mural becomes a backdrop to the owl, box turtle, and tree exhibits located here. These elements come together to form the backyard environment of a secluded research field station.


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