Mission, Goals, & History


The Association of Nature Center Administrators promotes and supports best leadership and management practices for the nature and environmental learning center profession.


  • To maintain an international network for nature and environmental learning center directors   
       and administrators;
  • To promote the identity and professional stature of nature and environmental learning centers 
       as educational facilities;
  • To provide nature and environmental learning center administrators with products and services 
       that will improve their performance on the job.


The Association of Nature Center Administrators is a private nonprofit organization that was founded in 1989 to create a professional association solely of and for leaders in the nature center profession-directors, managers, senior administrators, and Board members. It is the only such organization in the U.S.

In its early years, ANCA operated as an affiliate of the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and then incorporated in Ohio in 1993 as an independent membership organization. ANCA obtained its 501(c)3 status in 1995 and is funded through grants, gifts, memberships, and services.


ANCA is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors. Board Members include directors from private non-profit nature centers, municipal, county and state-supported facilities, and centers operated by larger institutions such as universities and school districts. Board Members represent diverse geographic locations and come from both day-use and residential-use facilities with annual budgets ranging from $100,000 to more than $1,000,000.

ANCA embraces and supports 600 dues-paying members from 49 states. (If you're from Hawaii, we'd love to hear from you!). Members also represent Canada, Australia, and China.

The ANCA headquarters are located in Logan, Utah.

Photo Credits 
- View thumbnails of the nature and environmental learning centers featured on our web pages.