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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.
Sunday, April 5
Brunch seating at 11:30 am
The 1 pm seating is now full and closed.
Enjoy a wonderful Easter Brunch with your family and friends. Menu
Brunch Cost: Member Adults $16, Children $8 Non-Member Adults $18, Children $9
(Plus 6% sales tax. Children ages 4 - 10) Register
FREE Program at 12:15 pm Wildlife Rehabilitation
Dawn Koning is a local, licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has been helping injured and orphaned wild animals for over 47 years. Koning will be sharing stories and photos from her wildlife rehabilitation experiences. According to her, audience members can expect to "laugh, cry, and walk away knowing more about wild animals and how to care for them."
You do not have to attend brunch to come to this FREE program.
Celebrate New Birth with Trees for Life
Saturday, April 11
Noon - 3 pm
Twice a year the Institute partners with Pennock Hospital to celebrate newborns with the gift of an oak sapling. Families with babies born at Pennock since the fall of 2014 are invited to
pick up a FREE sapling at the Institute. While supplies last, saplings can also be picked up the following week
A new series of talks will begin at the Institute this spring. As part of Earth Week, Michigan State University Professor Elena Litchman will speak about local lake structure, how to preserve the quality of area lakes and prevent problems caused by
undesirable algae and cyanobacteria.
She will talk about her research on harmful algal blooms and how
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
Another ScienceStrong Day at the Institute –
Early Childhood Educators: Building a Solid Science Foundation with Nature
Interest in nature and science starts whenchildren are very young, oftentimes before children evenenter elementary school. For these students, science is a natural process of experimentation and exploration, of attempts to explain and understand the world around them. Preschool teachers and daycare providers can act as facilitators and encourage the curiosity of their young students. However, many early childhood educators are hesitant to introduce science to young students, either because of a perceived lack of science knowledge or because of a lack of understanding of how to introduce science to students at this age. Much of the training of early childhood educators focuses on child development, reading and language development, and safety procedures, and often less time is devoted to learning other areas ofinstruction. To address this issue, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute will be holding a series of workshops for early childhood educators to give them experience and familiarity with how to introduce science and the environment to their students. The first in the series will take place in April, with follow up workshops to be held quarterly throughout the year.
On April 24, from 9 am–12:15 pm, the Institute will host Rachel Larimore, a nationally known expert innature-based preschool, in a professional development workshop for early childhood educators. Larimore, who has been with the Chippewa Nature Center since 2001, coordinates all youth programs at the Center, including school programs, nature day camp, scoutsand Nature Preschool. She helped take Nature Preschool from a vision to a reality in 2007. This introductory workshop will provide educators the information and skills to incorporate nature-based concepts into daily preschool and daycare routines while maintaining the integrity of their best practice curriculum. Nature-based preschool allows children to learn developmentally appropriate skills that are placed within a context of the environment, which helps them develop a sense of place and an understanding of the broader outside world. Nature-based programming can be presented both outdoors and indoors. These nature-based programs encourage students to do many of the things they would normally do, but by putting the child’s curiosity in a context of the natural world and science, they can grow a strong foundation for academic success and environmental awareness in the future. Students can work on the ability to apply things they are learning at school outside of a traditional classroom setting.
Topics to be covered during the workshop include the benefits of nature play, naturalizing outdoor play areas, integrating nature into indoor spaces, the real meaning of “dress for the weather,” leading effective excursions, seasonal activities to incorporate into the classroom, and introductory natural history. Participants should expect to leave the workshop with many ideas they can take back to their classrooms and use throughout the year. For instructors looking to learn more, there will be a follow-up two-day nature-based preschool workshop in July that will give instructors a more detailed look at how to fully integrate nature-based ideas into their classrooms and a fall science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workshop for early childhood educators.
Preschool teachers and daycare providers serve a vital role in both the care and education of students, and they have the potential to build interest and knowledge in science in the young children they work with. By starting science education early, we can set up our children to be life-long science learners and good citizens of the world around them.