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Promoting Environmental Education, Research,
Preservation, and Appreciation
Set on 661 acres in rural Barry County in southwest Michigan, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, a mix between an environmental education center, nature center, and biological field station, provides visitors with an opportunity for outdoor education and exposure to a blend of diverse habitats including wetlands, forests, marshes, streams, lakes, and prairies.
To fulfill our mission"to promote environmental education, research, preservation, and appreciation," the Institute offers environmental education and sustainable land management programs to the community, educating environmental stewards by communicating the core values of land conservancy, environmental responsibility, citizenship, inclusiveness, and the pursuit of knowledge; undergraduate research grants and research partnerships with a consortium of area colleges and universities; and miles ofhiking trails open to the public, free of charge, from dawn to dusk year-round.
March Brunch and Program
Sunday, March 8
Enjoy a wonderful early spring brunch prepared by Chef Richard Centala. Menu
Brunch Seatings at 11:30 am and 1 pm
Brunch Cost: Member Adults $14, Children $7 Non-Member Adults $16, Children $8
(Plus 6% sales tax. Children ages 4 - 10)
FREE Program at 12:15 pm
The Black Hawk War was a brief but important conflict that paved the way for European settlement of the upper Midwest and codified the removal of Native Americans from their land. John Gorentz, local amateur historian, will share how Michigan residents participated in this conflict. You do not have to attend brunch to come to this FREE program.
Saturday, March 14
9 am - 3:30 pm
Learn the basics of beekeeping with Don Snoeyink of Thornapple Woodlands. Participants will learn about proper equipment, starting and maintaining a healthy hive, and harvesting honey.
The workshop includes the book Starting Right with Bees.
Members $70 | Non-Members $80
Additional immediate family members $40
Lunch is included
Deadline for registration is Wednesday, March 11 Register
Introduction to Fruit Trees
Saturday, March 28
9 am – Noon
Apples, pears, and peaches are all nutritious resources of West Michigan’s local bounty that can be easily incorporated into your yard. Join Bill Shane of MSU Extension as he covers the basics of fruit trees, including siting, variety selection, pest control, and pruning. Participants will receive handouts. Pre-registration and payment is required.
Learn about monitoring water quality by studying aquatic macroinvertebrate health. Start the day with aquatic ecologist Dr. Steven Kohler of Western Michigan University and entomology student Denny Stelzer. The instructors will speak about water sampling techniques and identification of macroinvertebrates in local waterways. In the afternoon, participants will join Institute, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, and Kalamazoo Nature Center staff to sample bodies of water on Institute property. Samples will be taken back to the Institute lab and macroinvertebrate populations
On Saturday, January 17, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute was awarded the 2014 Distinctive Destination Award by the Barry County Chamber of Commerce. Presented at the chamber’s annual dinner, the award celebrates individuals, businesses, and organizations that are recognized as a
Barry County destination providing
a valuable experience to visitors and
Another ScienceStrong Day at the Institute
A Personal Note of Thanks
As executive director of Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, I am inspired every day through our mission to develop and deliver environmental education opportunities for the Barry County community. I am even more inspired because we are not alone in our efforts. The Barry County community is blessed with individuals and organizations committed to providing students of all ages various and valuable opportunities to learn and grow. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s something to be proud about and something to celebrate
A recent example of this commitment is the simple act of a single individual trying to remove a roadblock to education for a whole class of students. Thankfully, Lauren Tripp, who initially wanted to remain anonymous, agreed to allow me to share her story. Lauren, a volunteer at the Institute, learned one of the challenges Hastings High School faced in offering the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Class this year was the high cost of the text books. As someone who enjoyed and benefited from that class while in school, Lauren wanted to help make it available to current students, so she offered to buy the books. For her, it was more than a purchase. It was an investment, a gift, a practical way of making a difference.
Of course, this is just one example.
Countless more exist:
The Barry Community Foundation serves as a catalyst for community support of education through grants to teachers and classrooms, scholarships to students, and community educational efforts of all kinds. Plus, 2015 marks the third year of the Foundation’s focused commitment to education, one of the seven elements of a healthy community.
MSU’s 4-H program has a long history of helping our students and life-long learners.
Volunteers who mentor in our schools make a world of difference to the students they guide and support.
Our public libraries commit resources to creative and inspiring community educational programming every year.
As I’m sure you know, the list goes on and on. Among its many treasures, Barry County is rich in people who care about education and who are dedicated to helping improve the lives of children.
Although ScienceStrong, a focus of the Institute’s resources to support our community’s teachers and students and engage them in science learning opportunities, is technically new to the Institute, the desire to promote environmental education is not. Perhaps more importantly, it’s not new to the Barry County community either. Support of science education and education in general is a defining aspect of our community and has been for a long time.
Whether through volunteering or a financial donation, everyone can help encourage, build, and strengthen the culture of learning that prepares all of us for a healthier, more productive, and sustainable future. Something Barry County’s future relies on. Something we all should be grateful for.