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Become a Member

Membership gets you FREE admission to explore year-round!

What We Offer

Join us for fun & engaging outdoor activities and programs!

Plan Your Visit

Bring your friends & 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 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, corporate gifts, awarded grants and sponsorships.

Your admission dollars help support our operations so we can maintain trails, conduct building maintenance, host land stewardship projects, and more. This 2013 MLive article gives more details if you are interested in learning more.

Do I have to pay admission if I only want to walk on the trails?

You do still have to pay admission even if you’re only walking the trails. Your admission dollars help us with general operational needs. If you plan on visiting often, consider purchasing a Membership (members get free daily admission)!

Our gates close everyday at 5:00pm so guests should plan accordingly when visiting.

Can I bring my Service Animal inside the Visitor Center and on the trails?

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are welcome at Blandford Nature Center. Please read our full Service Animal Policy for more information and rules/stipulations.

In the event that a service animal’s presence within certain areas of the nature center is demonstrated to cause the captive wildlife in that area undue stress or anxiety, or present the potential for injury, we reserve the right under the ADA to designate such areas as off-limits or to designate the area as sensitive and request that guests observe extra caution in such areas.

Can I walk my dog(s) at Blandford?

You certainly can! We require that your dog is on a leash at all times, stays on the trails, and that there is a doggy waste bag in hand to clean up after your pet.

Dogs are allowed everywhere on the property EXCEPT on our Wildlife Trail and inside our buildings (with the exception of service animals).

Does Blandford accept injured wildlife?

We no longer accept injured wild animals for rehabilitation since Fall 2013. Please refer to the list of rehabilitators for assistance with rescue and rehab of wild animals.

Is there a Rapid bus route to Blandford Nature Center?

Yes! The Rapid bus route 7 stops at the corner of Hillburn Ave. and Leonard St. which is down the street from Blandford. For more information, call The Rapid at (616) 776-1100 or visit

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 and we ask for at least 24 hours notice. Regular admission rates apply.

Please be courteous of our guided groups and student campers. Areas being used in our programming may be off limits so please ask 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.

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.