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Blandford Nature Center is a 264-acre natural preserve located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The center is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and offers a variety of educational programs and activities for people of all ages.
The history dates back to the early 1900s, when Mary Jane Dockeray, a local school teacher, began taking her students on field trips to explore the natural world.
She eventually acquired the land that would become the center, and began developing it as a place for people to learn about and appreciate nature.
HOW TO HAVE FUN IN THE WOODS AT BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER
Today, the center offers a wide range of programs and activities for visitors.
The center’s trails are open year-round and provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and nature photography.
There are also several designated picnic areas, making Blandford a great place for a family outing or a peaceful afternoon in nature.
In addition to its outdoor offerings, there are several educational programs for both children and adults.
For adults, there are a range of classes and workshops on various nature-related topics.
Some of the classes include Bird Watching Basics, Introduction to Herbal Medicine, and Intro to Backyard Beekeeping.
These classes are taught by experts in their fields and provide an opportunity for adults to deepen their knowledge of the natural world.
One of my favorite classes offered for adults is Shinrin Yoku, also known as forest bathing.
This class is run by Katie Venechuk from In Your Element Wellness. This class involves immersing oneself in the natural environment and connecting with the forest through the senses.
During the Shinrin Yoku class, participants are led through a series of exercises designed to heighten their awareness of the natural world.
These exercises may include mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, and sensory experiences such as smelling the forest floor or feeling the texture of tree bark.
The class is based on the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and improving immune function.
You are encouraged to slow down and take in the natural environment around them, allowing you to experience the calming effects of nature.
WILDLIFE REHABILITATION PROGRAM AT BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER
One unique feature of the center is its wildlife rehabilitation program.
The center provides medical care and rehabilitation services for injured or orphaned wildlife, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild once they are healthy and able to survive on their own.
Visitors can often see these animals up close and learn about their rehabilitation process.
Blandford Nature Center is also home to several demonstration gardens, including a butterfly garden, an herb garden, and a native plant garden.
These gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for learning about different types of plants and their role in the ecosystem
BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER VISITOR CENTER
The center’s main building, the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center, is a LEED-certified building that was designed with sustainability in mind.
The building features a green roof, rain gardens, and solar panels, and serves as an example of how sustainable practices can be incorporated into everyday life.
Blandford is a great place to learn about and appreciate the natural world.