The Museum’s exhibits and galleries don’t stop when you leave the building. Step outside to the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center and Woods Garden or the Thelma and Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard to see native Ohio plants and animals!
Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center and Woods Garden
We’ve come to think of this 2.2-acre outdoor gallery as the Museum’s backyard. See bald eagles, owls, deer, foxes, otters, bobcats, a coyote and other northeast Ohio animals in enclosures designed to resemble their natural habitats. Beneath a canopy of tulip, oak, beech and maple trees grow plants that belong to several of Ohio’s native natural communities—swamp forest, shrub forest, fossil and sand ridge, rich mixed forest, emergent marsh and buckeye opening.
Discover the stories behind our wild residents—some are tales of near extinction and survival by human intervention, while others are of adaptation to life near humans and success to the point of overabundance. Together, they deliver a powerful lesson in conservation, ecology and biology. If you’re interested in helping our animal residents, find out more about our Wildlife Wish List. You can even adopt your very own "wild child"!
Visitors can access Perkins through a glass-enclosed exhibit space off of Kirtland Hall. Heated, paved pathways enhance accessibility for guests using strollers or wheelchairs.
To see our animals and learn from our wildlife resource specialists, take a look at our Wildlife playlist on YouTube.
Click here to visit the Falcon Cam!
Thelma and Kent H. Smith Environmental Courtyard
This courtyard garden is filled with native Ohio plants, including an array of wildflowers, many species of ferns and a variety of native trees. Native waterfowl dive and dabble in a waterfall-fed pond. Take a walk through the courtyard garden and enjoy this oasis in the city! If you visit us in the spring, you might find a family of ducklings paddling in the pond.