Established in 2003, the Nature Center is a tax-exempt, nonprofit educational organization. Their facility, located on 10 acres of land next to the Big Springs Environmental Study Area, also includes 5 additional acres leased from the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside (a part of the Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex).
The Nature Center’s mission is to connect people with wildlife through educational experiences inspiring appreciation, responsibility, and respect for the inter-relationships among humans, other living organisms, and the natural world we share.
Big Springs Environmental Study Area
Big Springs is an outdoor study and recreation site used by local schools, the community, and visitors to the White Mountains; it has been deliberately preserved in its natural state in order to promote local environmental education. Big Springs helps all who visit become aware of and appreciate the rich natural history of the White Mountains.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, Blue Ridge School District, and town of Pinetop-Lakeside have worked together as partners to make Big Springs a quality natural area. It includes a half mile self-guided trail, with signs along the way that give information about the local plants and wildlife. It’s an easy hike, and several benches along the way encourage visitors to rest and enjoy the view.