Effie Yeaw Nature Center

2850 San Lorenzo Way
Carmichael, CA 95608


Mission :
To create greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the natural and cultural resources of the Sacramento Region, the need to conserve these resources, and their interrelationships and interdependencies within the Earth's ecosystem.

Goals :
To provide opportunities for the visitor that will promote awareness, appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the natural and cultural resources of the Sacramento Region.

To provide awareness and understanding of human interdependence within a finite ecosystem and the need to conserve its resources and protect its quality.

In 1955 Effie Yeaw, a teacher, conservationist and environmental educator began leading natural and cultural history walks in an area known as Deterding Woods, located along the American River in Carmichael. Effie Yeaw and other local citizens recognized the value of the natural and cultural resources along the American River and began working with citizen groups to raise interest in preserving the lands along the river. She also trained tour guides and worked with William B. Pond, then Director of the Sacramento County Parks Department, to develop the concept of a "Parkway" along the river that included the preservation of Deterding Woods, now known as the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Nature Area.

In 1960, the Director of Parks received a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to purchase land along the American River in the area now known as Ancil Hoffman Park, which included Deterding Woods. That was the beginning of many purchases to establish the Parkway, including the Effie Yeaw Nature Area.

In 1965 the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved a Land Use and Development Plan that included an Interpretive Center in Ancil Hoffman County Park to interpret the natural and cultural resources of the American River Parkway. In 1972 Sacramento County voters passed a Park Bond measure that included funding for the Interpretive Center. As a result of public comment and support, in 1973 the Sacramento County Recreation and Parks Commission requested that the County Parks Department plan and develop this facility. In 1974 a citizen's advisory committee studied the feasibility of an interpretive center in Ancil Hoffman County Park. Many of these citizens were introduced to the natural resources of the Parkway by Effie Yeaw herself. They reviewed and revised the 1965 Land Use and Development Plan, and along with many other recommendations, presented updated goals and objectives that were adopted by Sacramento County Parks as part of their October, 1975, Effie Yeaw Interpretive Center Prospectus.

Construction of the Nature Center was completed in June 1976 and was dedicated in memory of the teacher whose dedication to nature and children still guide Nature Center activities today. The Nature Center's statement of purpose was adopted as part of the American River Parkway Interpretive Plan on January 11,1978. The Effie Yeaw Nature Center's cooperating association, the American River Natural History Association (ARNHA), adopted the same goals upon its establishment in 1981.

Though Effie Yeaw died in 1970, her legacy lives on in the American River Parkway she helped to establish and in the Nature Center whose guiding philosophy is Effie's genuine love for nature and children.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Carmichael
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner