Set on 742 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.
For your safety, all trails will be closed during the firearm deer hunting season from November 15 through November 30. In addition, the Brewster Lake (Red) Trail located north of Cloverdale Road will be closed through January 1 for the muzzle-loading and late antlerless firearm season. The trails south of Cloverdale Road will be open for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing again beginning on December 1st.
Under Construction: The New Maintenance Building
Big changes are underway at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute! Thanks to generous donations from Doug and Margaret DeCamp and George and Barbara Gordon, the Institute is getting its first new building since opening in 2001. This building—a 5,4000 square foot maintenance building—will provide valuable space the staff needs to continue to take care of the Institute's buildings, equipment, and property.
ScienceStrong Professional Development:
Winter Activities for Early Childhood Classrooms
Friday, December 4
9 am - 12:30 pm
This program will focus on winter ecology for early childhood educators and is perfect for preschool, young 5's, kindergarten, and daycare teachers. Teachers will learn about what happens outside during the winter and get ideas for activities they can do with their classes both indoors and outdoors. State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) will be available to participants. This program is being offered at no cost thanks to ScienceStrong funding. Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 1.
Luke McLaughlin—former student researchers, founder of Holistic Survival School, and star of Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid:XL"—will help participants learn the ancient art of making buckskin from deer hides. Students will be introduced to the basic principles of making soft, supple, durable buckskin by getting hands-on practice for each stage of the process. Participants are encouraged to bring energy and an open mind and wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty. Protective gloves are optional. Luke will provide all of the materials.Pre-registation is required.
Early winter is a good time to see landscape features that are typically covered up be vegetation or snow. This two mile hike will cover the challenging landscape at the Little Grand Canyon property, exploring its ancient geology, natural history, and the impacts of humans. Participants should be prepared to be outside in cold weather bon on- and off-trail in steep terrain.
December Brunch, Christmas Concert, and Artists' Reception
Sunday, December 13
Brunch seatings: 11:30 am and 1 pm
Christmas Concert: 12:15 - 1 pm
Artists' Reception: Noon - 2 pm
This year's Christmas Concert will feature the Brass Rail brass quintet, which plays a variety of musical styles including Renaissance and Baroque, Rag Time and Swing, Blues and Rock, and a good bit of New Orleans influenced music. The players are Roger Lynch and Mike McMinn on trumpets, Fritz MacDonald on tuba, John Dickey on trombone, and Chris Garrett on French horn. This concert is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!
After the concert, be sure to stop in at the Artists' Reception. Nature photographers Chris Neri and Nova Mackently will be here to discuss their Night Flight Images Photography and Framing Exhibit, which will be on display in the Visitor Center December 1 - February 27.
You do not need to attend brunch to enjoy the Christmas Concert and Artists' Reception.