Please Pardon Our Dirt & Noise
With groundbreaking and construction comes heavy machinery, many changes and lots of noise. But please don’t let this prevent you from visiting us!
During construction please be aware that the main parking lot is occupied by construction crews and machinery so limited parking is available. Parking is also available along the Hillburn Ave./Trail Dr. corner, the front gate of Blandford’s main entrance and at Blandford Farm (3145 Milo St. NW Grand Rapids).
Parking lot availability will be varied throughout the construction process.
The new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center will provide:
- A flexible 300-seat auditorium that will help solve the problem of Blandford being forced to turn groups away due to capacity constraints.
- A more accessible design, including restrooms.
- Prominent space for “wildlife ambassadors” engaging animals that can’t be returned to the wild.
- Potential rental income through weddings, corporate retreats, speakers and other events.
- New construction that adheres to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED),s a green building certification program certification.
“The current visitor center is 8,000-square-feet and not accessible to everyone,” said Meyer, about expanding to 11,000-square feet. “We are going to build a new center that better fits our needs and turn the current center into pavilion with teaching space. ”
In 2015, the visitor center had 45,000 total visitors, including 13,000 children. The center started with only 10 acres and has grown to 143 acres, leased from the city. The land and wildlife is seen as a perfect backdrop to provide quality environmental education and community programs.