Grand Rapids’ Nature Centers Offer Outdoorsy Fun For All Ages

Take a peaceful stroll on the trails at Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve. Photo by Howard Meyerson

Take a peaceful stroll on the trails at Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve. Photo by Howard Meyerson

By Howard Meyerson

Two minutes from the traffic on East Beltline Avenue is a peaceful, natural setting full of surprises. In spring the woods fill with natural sounds – sweet bird songs by day and a chorus of frogs and toads at night.

For Jeanette Henderson, it is a special season at the 100-acre Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve, where she is program manager. Wood-chip pathways lead visitors to more than a dozen ponds and vernal pools, all set back from the highway in the hush of a mature forest.

The preserve was established in 1985 to protect a special habitat, the temporary home for more than 140 bird species plus white-tail deer, raccoons and possums, blue-spotted salamanders and flying squirrels and mink.

The Calvin College preserve is one of four great area nature centers within 30 minutes of downtown Grand Rapids. They offer miles of hiking trail, wild animal displays and an assortment of fun, outdoorsy things to do. To learn more about where they are and what they offer check out my latest blog post on the Experience GR Blog.

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