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HURON COUNTY NATURE CENTER

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THE NATURE CENTER AT A GLANCE

Established on a tract of untouched land in Hume Township, Michigan, the Huron County Nature Center and Wilderness Arboretum was, in 1941, put under the care of the Huron County Women's Clubs.  In 1991 the Huron County Nature Center, Inc. was formed with the mission of preserving the center for the enjoyment and education of the public.  The Nature Center is open all year round, and admission is always free.

What is a Wilderness Arboretum?  It is a place where plants, animals, insects, fungi - all things living or dead - are protected for scientific and educational purposes and for the preservation of the natural environment.  The Nature Center's geography of alternating sand ridges and shallow swales is a haven not only for native Michigan species, but for Michigan nature lovers and environmentalists.  Enjoy a refreshing walk along one of the well kept trails of the Nature Center.

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ABOUT THE NATURE CENTER

  • Our trails are open year-round, dawn to dusk (closing at 10:00 PM), and admission is always free.

  • Digital trail maps are available at www.michigantrailmaps.com

  • Our Visitor's Center building is open on weekends during the summer months.

  • Dogs are allowed on our walking trails. They must be on a six-foot or shorter leash, and please come prepared to clean up after your dog and take the waste with you.

  • Horseback riding is not allowed on our trails. Our boardwalks are not built to support the weight of a horse and our trails are not wide enough to accommodate horses and walkers.

  • Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome on our walking trails, especially on the paved loop. Otherwise all wheeled and motorized vehicles are prohibited on our walking trails.

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2024 EVENTS

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May 26, 10 am to 4 pm: Annual Lady’s Slipper Festival.  A celebration of one of Michigan's most beautiful and rare wildflowers, the Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchid! This family-friendly event offers a variety of activities for all ages, including live music, food vendors, and local artisans showcasing their wares. Visitors can hike and explore the trails in search of Lady’s Slippers, and learn about the unique characteristics of this stunning wildflower. For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, relax and enjoy the festive atmosphere. 

June 1, 9:30-10:30 am: Bird Walk. Join hobby birder Tom Beachy for a morning of birding! Tom will share his extensive knowledge and passion for birding as you explore the trails and look for local bird species. Bring your binoculars and cameras, and be prepared to observe and learn about the different behaviors and characteristics of the birds you encounter.

June 8, 10:30-11:30 am: McCoy's Sweety Bee Honey. Matt Jacobs will offer a general overview of the bee business operation and open conversation with attendees. It is sure to be a sweet time!

June 15, 10:30-11:30 am: Michigan Reptiles & Amphibians. Explore the fascinating world of Michigan's native reptiles and amphibians with Nature Discoveries’ Jim and Carol McGrath! This interactive experience will feature live animals including snakes, turtles, frogs, and salamanders. 

June 22, 10:00 am-2:00 pm: Nature Zentangle. Join artist Wanda Eichler for a full day of Zentangle fun! Wanda will be teaching participants a relaxing approach to creating art with the step-by-step Zentangle process. Zentangle is an easy-to-learn and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Be sure to bring your own sack lunch to enjoy between the morning and afternoon sessions. Pre-registration will open up in June, a class fee is required for art supplies provided at this class.

June 29, 10:30-11:30 am: Drypoint Printmaking Workshop.  Learn a unique technique to render your images. Workshop artists will learn how to use tools to carve into plastic plates to create a reproducible image from drawings, photos, or other sources, led by artist Rachel Mentzer. Attendees will learn the process of intaglio printing, including how to ink and wipe the plate so that the incised design is transferred to paper using a printing press. Oberlin-based artist, Rachel Mentzer, enjoys using found and recycled materials toreate unique artwork. Her work often focuses on the interaction between nature and humans as it integrates recycled materials into the image. As a printmaker, she enjoys working in collagraph and intaglio. Rachel has won awards from The Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition. This presentation is in partnership with the Port Austin Artist in Residence program.

July 6, 10:30am-11:30 am: Birds of Prey. Experience the majesty of Michigan's birds of prey up close and personal with Wildlife Recovery! Joe Rogers and his team will bring live raptors including hawks, owls, and falcons and will answer your questions about these interesting birds. This is a popular program so be prepared for a crowd.

July 13, 10 am-Noon: Quick Start Nature Journaling. Join local artist Patt Bennett for a fun practice that helps us slow down, pay attention, notice more and get curious about the wonder and beauty all around us. In this gathering you will be encouraged to record your own ideas and observations about Nature using words, pictures, and numbers!  Important: Please call 989-551-8400 by July 6 to register.

July 20, 10:30-11:30 am: Passenger Pigeons. From the 1830’s to the 1890’s, the Passenger Pigeon was the dominant bird species in the state of Michigan.  It was also the most hunted bird, with hunters and game dealers coming from as far away as New York and Texas to participate in the hunt. The program describes the events that led to the tragic extinction of this remarkable species.

August 3, 10:30-11:30 am: Michigan Avian Experience. This is an event you won't want to miss! Michigan Avian Experience will have a bald eagle and two other raptors on hand for this fun and educational program which includes a photo-op with their magnificent Bald Eagle. This event is perfect for families and bird enthusiasts.

August 10, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm: Back by popular demand, join artist Wanda Eichler for fun with Zentangle. Wanda will be teaching participants a relaxing approach to creating art with the step-by-step Zentangle process. Zentangle is an easy-to-learn and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Be sure to bring your own sack lunch to enjoy between the morning and afternoon sessions.  Pre-registration will open up in late July, check the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HCnaturecenter for details on how to register. A class fee of $20 is payable the day of attendance.

August 17, 10:30 -11:30 am: Let’s Talk Tomatoes, Small Home Farms. Everybody loves tomatoes, but how much do you actually know about this tasty fruit's fascinating history? Author and seed saver Bevin Cohen will share exciting tales of how this South American fruit traveled around the world and back, influencing the cuisines and cultures of the many countries it encountered along its journey. Discover tips and tricks to maximize your tomato harvest. 

August 24, 10:30-11:30am: Michigan Snakes. Join Nature Discoveries' Jim and Carol McGrath for an exciting event exploring the amazing world of Michigan snakes! This interactive experience will feature live snakes and includes the opportunity to touch and hold some of these incredible animals (under safe and supervised conditions). This event is perfect for families and nature enthusiasts who are interested in learning more about these often-misunderstood creatures.

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE

DONATE TO THE NATURE CENTER

As a volunteer-run nonprofit, the Nature Center relies on donations and grants to fund our operations.  

You can help by making a financial contribution today.  

Thank you!

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MEMORIALS,
COMMEMORATIVE BENCHES 
& PLANNED GIVING

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MEMORIALS

Huron County Nature Center may be designated to receive donations in lieu of flowers as part of a memorial service. All donors will receive a letter from HCNC acknowledging their gift and a list of donors will be mailed to the family notifying them of contributions made in memory of their loved one.

COMMEMORATIVE BENCHES

A commemorative bench at the Nature Center is a meaningful way to honor a special person or significant event. Commemorative benches allow visitors to sit and enjoy their surroundings.  For additional details click on the 'More Information' button below.

PLANNED GIVING

Planned giving includes gifts through wills, charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts. Other types of planned giving include life income gifts, gifts of life insurance, charitable lead trusts, retirement plan gifts, and charitable remainder trusts. Please consult your estate and trust lawyer and/or financial professional if you are considering any of these options.

REACH OUT:

For any of these options please contact us: 

Huron County Nature Center

PO Box 462

Port Austin, MI 48467

Call or text: (989) 551-8400

Email: hello@huronnaturecenter.org

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CONTACT US

Mailing address:

Huron County Nature Center

PO Box 462

Port Austin, MI 48467

Call or text: 989-551-8400

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