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50th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Celebrate Chippewa Nature Center’s 50th Anniversary as we showcase our commitment to connecting people with nature. Learn how facilities and programs have grown, and sample a diversity of our current offerings as you join staff and volunteers to create your own nature-based memories. Excitement is in the air as we celebrate “Venturing out since 1966,” looking to the future together and inspiring people to be stewards of the natural world.


Visitor Center Fall 2012 (4)

Throughout the Day
Enjoy lemonade and water throughout the day, a granola bar during the hikes and 50th anniversary cake from 1-4 pm. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch and relax at one of the many picnic tables near the Visitor Center and at the Nature Study Building (no food concessions are planned for this event).

Early Morning Bird Walk

Bobolink Nest_0628

7:30-9:30 am
Join CNC Interpretive Naturalist Jeanne Henderson for this guided walk to look for some of the 200+ species of birds that have been seen at Chippewa Nature Center over the last 50 years. At this time of year, nesting should be in full swing with territorial male birds singing their hearts out, females building nests, and fledglings begging for food. Loaner binoculars are available.

50 Years of Archaeology at CNC

Archaeology at Naugle Site where copper point and small pot found 7.17.1974

10-11 am
For the last 50 years, CNC staff and volunteers have documented the story of humans on the land through an active archaeology program of research, surface surveys and excavation. Their work has provided an incredible wealth of knowledge, helping us understand the human inhabitants of this area for 10,000 years. Join Dr. Scott Beld in the Visitor Center for this overview and peek into the past.

Rambling Along the River Trail


12-1 pm
The River Trail has been one of most used trails at Chippewa Nature Center over the last 50 years. It is an ever changing exhibit that always has something to surprise us. Join CNC Interpretive Naturalist Michelle Fournier to discover what is happening along the river today.

Nature Preschool Open House


1-3 pm
Have you ever wondered what the inside of the Nature Preschool building looks like? Stop and take a tour of this LEED Gold certified building, meet the teachers and learn about the curriculum.

Nature Study Building/Nature Day Camp Open House


1-3 pm
Are you a current or past Nature Day camper or counselor, or are you just curious to see what the Alden B. Dow designed building looks like from the inside? Stop by and take a look, share a memory or just remember the fun you had at camp.

Family-friendly Fun at the Homestead

baby hog nose snake
No model releaseses.
Nature at Night 2015 (111)

1-4 pm
Take a wagon ride or hike the River Trail to the Homestead Farm for a hub of activity as we celebrate 50 years of connecting people to nature. Join us for live music by the Jolly Hammers and Strings, crafts, games, refreshments and fun!

  • See the contents of the Time Capsule created 25 years ago.
  • Visit with CNC Affiliate groups Wild Ones – MidMichigan Chapter, Valley Herb Society and the Oxbow Archeologists to learn about what they do and how to become involved with their groups.
  • Grab a costume prop and take a photo in front of the wagon barn. Volunteers and staff will be on hand to help you build new connections to nature.

You also won’t want to miss:

  • Traditional skills demonstrations
  • Reptile and amphibian discovery station
  • Schoolhouse games and toys
  • Woodworking and activities in the barn
  • What’s up with invasive exotics
  • Exploring nature with technology
  • Archaeology display
  • Monarch butterfly monitoring display
  • Nature art
  • Candle dipping
  • Rope making
  • Face painting

Stories Under the Red Oak

Day campers under red oak june 18 2007

3-4 pm
This tree near the Sugarhouse sprouted from an acorn in 1823, and has seen many dramatic changes over the past 193 years. Join Kyle Bagnall and Dennis Pilaske to hear songs and stories of wolves and passenger pigeons, Native Americans and fur traders, lumbermen and pioneers all from the perspective of this majestic tree.

Commemorative Tree Planting

Dow at CNC 2014 (9)

4:15 pm
Join us for a special tree planting ceremony in the Arboretum to mark CNC’s 50th anniversary! Meet at the Red Oak near the Sugarhouse.

50th Anniversary Staff & Board Reunion Luncheon

Saturday, June 25, 2016
11 am-12 pm

Dick Touvell (current Executive Director since 1990), Chris Anderson (Business Manager/Director of Finance 1975-2012), Howard Garrett (1st Secretary 1966-70; 2nd President 1970-77), Gary Skory (historian 1982-1988) and CNC’s current staff and board invite current and former staff and board for a REUNION luncheon – a chance to share memories of your CNC tenure, “catch up” with friends and help celebrate CNC’s 50th Anniversary! We hope you can join us for the luncheon from 11 am-noon. Be sure to check out the full agenda of activities throughout the day that highlight CNC facilities and programs, many of which began during your CNC tenure!

Menu includes:
Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs
Assorted salads and desserts
(Vegetarian options available)
Soft drinks, tea and lemonade

Please RSVP by Fri, June 10:
ckacel@chippewanaturecenter.org or 989.631.0830