Enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset from one of the Institute's hiking trails. Over seven miles of trails are open dawn to dusk.
Join today. Become a member to receive many wonderful benefits. Click on the "Get Involved" tab to learn more.
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 seven miles of hiking trails open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk year-round.
Bats of Michigan
Presented by the Organization for Bat Conservation
Saturday, November 1
6:30 – 8 pm
Pre-registration is recommended
Space is limited
Discover the fascinating world of Michigan Bats! Often misunderstood or overlooked, bats play a key role in the state’s environment and economy. In this
family-friendly, live animal program,
participants will learn why bats are important
to the state, where Michigan bat species are
located, and how to identify them.
Institute Member Adults $6, Children $4 l Non-Member Adults $8, Children $6 (Children ages 4-10) Register
2014 Holiday Gift Show and Lunch
Sunday, November 9
11 am - 3 pm
Over 25 art vendors will be selling handcrafted and creative gifts during the 12th annual Holiday Gift Show. It's the perfect place to find unique gifts—and maybe something for yourself, too!
The Institute's gift shop will feature
locally-made birdhouses and feeders by
Bill Stovall, founder of Stovall Products,
who will be at the show to answer
questions about his products.
Admission is free.
Stop and eat lunch while you are here! Chef Richard Centala will host a soup and sandwich buffet. Lunch includes appetizers, soups, sandwiches, desserts, and beverages.
Lunch seating times: 11 am and 1:30 pm (12:15 is now full)
Member Adults $11; Children $6
Non-Member Adults $13; Children $7
(Plus 6% sales tax. Children ages 4- 10)
Join Patricia Baker-Smith from Nodding Thistle Farm as she helps you create your own dried flower arrangement. The program will begin with a short hike, collecting natural materials from around the Institute. You will then learn how to dry your own flowers for arrangements.
The workshop will end with an opportunity to create an arrangement that you will take home. A variety of simple vases will be available, but participants are welcome to bring their own vase as well. Ten-inch-tall
Learn a variety of ways to use herbs and essential oils to make gifts for every occasion. Connie Hanson will discuss and share some tasty foods that can be packaged as gifts for the holiday season. This is followed by ideas for using essential oils to make bath sachets, oils, bath salts, and more. Each participant will make three items to take home - linen spray, an all-purpose seasoning, and a jar of Christmas cappuccino!
children than ever before will have the opportunity to explore,experience,and engage with nature and science at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. But what do they actually do when they’re here?
What do they see?
What do they learn?
What do they take away with them?
Thanks to long-time Institute volunteer Barbara Van Dyken, we all will have the chance to find out. In this, the first installment of a series we are calling Another ScienceStrong Day at the Institute, Barbara offers a first-hand account of students from Plainwell Middle School during their field trip on October 2.
October yellows rim the Institute as sixth and seventh graders climb off yellow buses, talking and laughing. Despite their excitement, they listen well as they are divided into three groups:
Macroinvertebrates (water creatures) at the ponds; Water sampling study at Cedar Creek; Geologic-hydrology hike around Brewster Lake.
At the ponds, eager but sometimes timid kids line the edges. Aluminum collection pans are held in their hands. Water spiders are some of the first to be found. Excitementincreases with each dip of the long-handled nets. Water beetles, frogs, tadpoles, dragonfly/damselfly nymphs, leeches, and much more are exclaimed over, studied, and recorded on data sheets.
"I'm a leech magnet!" one petite brunette cries out repeatedly, holding her pan withleeches and squirming as far away as possible.
Sierra, swathed in pink, loves the "wet fun."
Iris's face shows delighted concentration at all the different types of swimmers coming out of the water.
Meanwhile, at the new observation platform by the creek, thirty kids fill the seats and steps. The benefits of an outdoor classroom are about to be demonstrated. All attention focuses on Dr. Sara as she asks, "If you were a fish living in Cedar Creek, what would you see and feel?"
"I would know if there is enough oxygen in the water to breathe."
"Can I feel the water to guess its temperature? That would be the best way to feel like a fish?" Peter obviously wants to participate more actively.
"The acidity of the water is based on a pH scale of 0-14. Is it 5 that is too acidic?" Wow—most adults don't know that one.
“How do water plants breathe? Is it like the fish breathe?"
The questions keep coming and get better. When John returns from the hydrology hike, he responds as boys for ages have done:
"The best part was all the frogs."
But Lydia pipes in with: "No, the best part was the red poison plants!" Poison sumac was never so enthusiastically admired.
Kid humor ends the day perfectly:
Brendan exclaims, “This is some funky water!"
Interest in science is alive and flourishing at Plainwell Middle School. Pierce Cedar Creek Institute nurtures and expands that interest into fascination. Let us hope it continues into the future for all of us.