Seven Ponds Nature Center

A Nature Sanctuary and Environmental Education Center



As you probably know, Seven Ponds offers a wide range of environmental education programs and opportunities for all ages, from Knee High Nats for our youngest visitors, to adult programs such as Yoga at the Ponds, Assistant Naturalist training, clubs, and much more. For school-aged children we offer home school programs, school field trips, Summer Field School, Annie’s Big Nature Lesson, and Traveling Naturalists. Our weekend programs for children, adults, and families provide a wide slate of seasonal activities.

But, one of the more unique opportunities we offer here at the nature center is our annual array of field tours. These tours are generally several days to a week or more in duration. They may take us to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, a distant region of our country, or even abroad. Each field tour is different, of course, but every tour provides an opportunity for immersion in the natural world, led by expert naturalists and guides. Additionally, participants find themselves surrounded by like-minded people – all interested in learning, sharing, and growing.

We offer two types of field tours: natural history field tours and birding field tours. On a natural history field tour, the focus will be on all manner of flora and fauna of the region of the tour: wildflowers, butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, and the geological formations of the area. While members of a birding field tour certainly take time to appreciate the local flora and fauna, the focus is, of course, on the avian life found in that particular region. Each day finishes with a checklist session, where we recount all of the birds and locations we enjoyed during that day.

In just the past year, Seven Ponds members and guests have enjoyed field tours to the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, the prairies and mountains of Colorado, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Upcoming field tours include the wildflowers of the Smoky Mountains and the birds of Monterey, California. Over the past 25 years, the list of field tour destinations is quite long and far reaching: Arizona, Isle Royale, Alaska, Florida, New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, New Jersey, New Foundland, Alabama, Niagara Falls, Trinidad-Tobago, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, and Mexico – just to name a few.

Participants on the field tours get to experience nature that in many cases is far different than what we have here in southeastern Michigan. They get to learn and explore and grow, under the leadership of expert naturalists and local guides. They often start the field tour among strangers, but finish among friends, everyone having shared a similar rewarding experience they will remember the rest of their lives.

If you have never joined us on a field tour, perhaps it’s time to come along for the ride!

Daryl Bernard
Executive Director

(from the Spring 2018 issue of Heron Tracks)

Wants and Needs

  • Very sharp hunting knives to use for taxidermy
  • Books for the Stinger’s Annual Rummage Sale

Have you included Seven Ponds in your will?

The Lapeer County Community Foundation manages 61 funds to provide grants for a wide range of charitable purposes. Since 1996, over $2.75 million has been given to enhance the quality of life in Lapeer County. This includes several generous grants to the nature center. The Foundation was instrumental in our recent Capital Campaign and has also provided funding for invasive plant control and other projects. We appreciate their continuing support.

Around the Center

You Otter be Ready
We currently have a North American River Otter in our Discovery Room as a permanent display. River Otters are perfect for aquatic life. They live in a variety of aquatic habitats, from coastal bays to swamps. Webbed feet help propel them forward, and their tails are used as a rudder.

Plenty of Pileated Woodpeckers
Seven Ponds has been consistently visited by three Pileated Woodpeckers. They frequent the feedings around the center. This is an uncommon bird to see so frequently. If this is a bird you have been interested in viewing, come on out to the Center.

Grants & Gifts

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Seven Ponds has been awarded a grant for $14,500.00 from the Four County Community Foundation to help fund field trips to the nature center for children in the Almont, Armada, Capac, Dryden, Imlay City, Oxford, Richmond, and Romeo School Systems. The grant also funds five weeklong sessions of Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson for children in the Dryden and Imlay City School Systems, and a teacher workshop for local educators. The grant was funded through the Foundation’s Dora & Toos Ondersma Fund and the Jane E. Bishop Memorial Fund. The grant is part of their “No Child Left Indoors” initiative, which was established to help address the need for children to spend more time in the out-of-doors. The Foundation has been helping to fund school field trips to Seven Ponds since 2010 and the nature center is very pleased that this partnership continues in 2018. The funds will allow many local school children to experience the nature center’s woodlands, fields, ponds, and prairie. The Four County Community Foundation serves the corners of Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair Counties where they meet. In its 30 year history,
the Foundation has grown from $2,500,000 to $14,200,000 in assets and in 30 years has invested nearly 8 million dollars back into the community. The grants were for a wide variety of activities which make our communities a better place to live, work, and visit.
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