Torstenson Center

Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center

The Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center gives Illinois youth the chance to unplug and learn the values of nature through exploration, self-discovery and development of new skills.

The Torstenson Center (TYCEC) is a 750-acre facility located at 13735 Cook Road – east of Pecatonica, Illinois, in Winnebago County, along the Pecatonica River – built in memory of Mr. Robert Torstenson to carry on his legacy of nature conversation.

Our venue and grounds provide the ideal setting for field trips, workshops, meetings or any type of lessons on outdoor, conservation or environmental education. The Center serves schools, conservation and scouting organizations, park districts and other outdoor related groups throughout Illinois.

Experiences and activities available at the Torstenson Center include:

  • Shooting Range Complex with a 300' by 50' shooting range, 25' high berms, a shooting house funded by the Northern Illinois Chapter of the National Rifle Association, and a target range. It supports four types of shooting skills: rifle, shotgun, archery and 3-D archery.
  • Fishing pond stocked by the IDNR with a handicapped-accessible pier
  • Beautiful 11,000-square-foot Lodge featuring four bunk-style bedrooms with 15 total beds, gourmet kitchen, formal dining/conference room, pool area and outdoor cooking area with fire pit and screened-in patio. Lodge overlooks lake with camping area and hiking trails. Minimum stay is two nights. To reserve the Lodge for your group, call 815-985-6926.
  • Mobile learning station filled with equipment such as binoculars, GPS units, fishing and archery equipment, hand lenses, skulls and pelts, and more.


Youth groups of all ages are welcome. You can provide your own programs or ask our staff to help plan your outing. We also offer ecology, environmental, conservation and outdoor skills workshops to adult leaders and educators.

If you are interested in renting our lodge, fill out the inquiry form here.

If you’d like to bring your class or group to the Torstenson Center, please email program director Tom Hoffman at

We look forward to hosting you!