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Become a Member

Membership gets you FREE admission to explore year-round!

What We Offer

Join us for fun and engaging outdoor activities and programs!

Plan Your Visit

Bring your friends and family for enriching experiences in nature!

Our Mission

To engage and empower our community through enriching experiences in nature.

Our Vision

A thriving, diverse community that supports a healthy, natural world.

Who We Are

We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit whose job and passion is to is is to invite our community to enjoy, explore, and learn in nature. We make this happen by allowing our visitors to get their hands dirty in nature – whether that be standing knee-high in water to learn about stream ecology or planting squash seeds to start a garden. This is accomplished through an active outdoor environmental lab, a team of passionate, knowledgeable people and a strong link from past to future promoting sustainability. Blandford offers a wide variety of experiences to support our mission and vision through dynamic partnerships and innovative programming for all ages.


Why does Blandford charge admission? Don't my taxes support you?

Blandford Nature Center is an independent non-profit, which means that we do not receive any tax funding. All of our support comes from program fees, memberships, annual donations from our wonderful supporters, gifts from corporations, and awarded grants.

Your admission dollars help support the operations of the Nature Center and funds things like clean, well stocked restrooms, trail maintenance, building maintenance, and our land stewardship projects. We want to be a resource for the community long term, and this is another step in that direction!  This MLive article from May 2013 gives more details if you are interested in learning more.

What is there to do at Blandford?

  • Enjoy a day with your family at one of our Signature Events (Sugarbush Festival, Earth Day Celebration, Pioneer Holiday, etc.)
  • Hike our well maintained trails and explore our unique grounds through the changing seasons
  • Sign your child up for our Seasonal Camps (Winter Break, Spring Break & Summer Camp)
  • Take a trip back in time and explore our Heritage Buildings
  • Visit Blandford’s wildlife inside the Wildlife Education Center and outside on the Wildlife Trail
  • Complete a self-guided hike using a FREE, themed trail day pack located in the Visitor Center (trail day packs made possible by Amway)
  • Rent snowshoes for a fun way to explore our winter trails (snowshoes are free with membership and subject to availability, must be 3″ of snow on the ground)
  • Blaze your way through Blandford’s trails with your cross-country skis
  • Visit Blandford’s Farm and say hello to our farm animals plus see our produce in the greenhouse
  • Enjoy outdoor play with your children by spending time in our Nature Nook playscape
  • Learn more about ecosystems, land stewardship and wildlife through our community programs
  • Enjoy the rotating, local art exhibits installed in the Visitor Center’s auditorium
  • Spend time observing songbirds, birds of prey and mammals within the Visitor Center’s observation area
  • Purchase unique gifts for the nature lovers in your life from our Gift Shop
  • Have fun with friends and family at our community programs like Owl Prowl, Snowshoe with your Sweetie, Kombucha Workshops and more

Can I ride my bike on Blandford's trails?

No. Please park and lock your bikes at the provided bike racks, then enjoy your walk on the trails. Our trails are designed to be enjoyed by hikers and riding your bike not only disturbs the trails but takes away from the safety of those walking. Blandford promotes recreational uses that are low-profile, low-impact and consistent with our land ethic values. The City of Walker and Grand Rapids has other bike-friendly parks you can explore.

Will you take my injured animal?

We no longer accept animals for rehabilitation. 

The two main rehabbers in the Grand Rapids area are:

  • Peg Markle of Wildlife Rehab Center LTD   {616-361-6109}
  • Sjana Gordon of Michigan Wildlife Center   {616-885-4223} (the only rehabber in Kent County that takes in raccoons)

List of other Licensed Michigan Wildlife Rehabbers.

It is illegal to rehab skunks, bats, and deer in Michigan, so there are no wildlife rehabilitators that can take them in.

Can I walk my dog at Blandford?

You certainly can! We do require that your dog is on a leash, stays on the trails, and that there is a doggy waste bag in hand to pick up unwanted extras. Dogs are allowed everywhere except on our Wildlife trail and inside our buildings.

Do I need to let Blandford know if I'm bringing out a group for a self-guided exploration?

Groups of 10 or more are required to call ahead. Call 616-735-6240 to let us know you are coming. We ask for at least 24 hours notice. Please be courteous of and yield to our guided groups and summer campers. Areas being used in our programming may be off limits; please ask at Visitor Services during check in for areas off limits. Trail packs may be checked out at the Visitor Services desk to aid in your self-exploration, and we are happy to give your groups some suggestions of trails to check out. Regular admission rates apply.

Is there a Rapid Bus Route to Blandford Nature Center?

Yes. The Rapid bus number 7 stops at the corner of Hillburn Ave. and Leonard St, which is up the street from Blandford. A 1/4 mile walk north on Hillburn brings you to our Interpretive Center. For more information, call The Rapid at (616) 776-1100 or visit

Land Conservancy of West Michigan and The Highlands

Blandford Nature Center and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan collaborated on the purchase of the 121-acre former Highlands Golf Club in Grand Rapids in the winter of 2017 with a vision to transform the property into a natural area for community recreation, nature preservation, and land conservation.