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Robinson Nature Center, Columbia

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 65 reviews on the web
The James and Anne Robinson Nature Center is a park and nature center operated by the Howard County, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.HistoryThe Nature Center was built on 18.3 of 22 acres of a 31-acre parcel that had been split from the Simpsonville Mill property by William and Rebecca Simpson and sold to Sophia Stern in 1891; subsequent sales were to Isaac Goldstein and Louis Abram in 1894, Eli Goldstein and family (Russian immigrants) in 1897, David and Agnes Johnson in 1902, Charles and Alice Baldwin in 1911, John Clifford and Martha Wall in 1914 (then 23.75 acres), and Harry and Rachel Saumenig in 1921. The property was purchased by James and Anne Robinson in 1957; it is adjacent to the modern Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and the core properties on Cedar Lane that were assembled to start the Rouse development of Columbia, Maryland. After decades of offers to sell the property for dense development, Anne Robinson approached the county in 2002 about passing the land to them for operation of a nature center. The purchase was settled on February 18, 2005, with funding from $1.7 million in county development excise taxes and $300,000 of Program Open Space money. The Robinson Foundation, which Anne and her accountant created in 2003 to hold the property, returned $1 million of the proceeds of the sale as a contribution toward construction of the facility. The Robinson's mid-to-late 19th century frame house adjacent to the Simpsonville Mill, in which Anne had lived until 2004, was immediately demolished. Anne Robinson died days later at age 89; her husband James had died in 1977. (In 2014, the Robinson Estate also sold a 640-acre farm in Goldsboro, Maryland for $2.25 million that had been placed into agricultural preservation.)
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  • Although this is a nature center with hiking trails, dogs are not allowed. Don't go there if you are looking for a place to hike with a dog. 
  • We moved to Columbia one year ago and like many parents with little ones, began looking for opportunities to connect with nature and other families. Robinson Nature Center is this place. We have enjoy...  read more »
  • The nature center is a very educational facility for both children and adults. Many hands on activities for children. The displays are inside and out and very interesting life like and easy to underst...  read more »
  • Stopped by today and we will definitely be back! It was quiet for a Sunday afternoon. The staff was warm and helpful. David ran the "touch tank" exhibit for us in the discovery room and was great! He was very patient with the kids making the whole experience very educational and fun! Can't beat their prices for all they have to offer as well.
  • It's worth checking out, but you'll be mistaking it for not having a lot if you don't examine all the programming the offers. The summer camps for kids are a lot of fun.
  • I highly recommend Robinson Nature Center. A great place to take your family and have a good time exploring. They also have fantastic summer camps and other programs.
  • Went there for teen egg hunt at night. My daughters had a lot of fun. The facility and staff were impressive.
  • This is a really cool place to learn about local nature! I just wandered in one day and there's a really beautiful trail that follows a creek behind the Center and leads to a picnic type area/ set of swings. Really nice!
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