About Us

Nature Center, Environmental Education Center, and Biological Field Station

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is a nature center, environmental education center, and biological field station located on 829 acres with nine miles of hiking trails ten miles south of Hastings, Michigan. The Institute’s mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our environment.

Environmental Policy

Our policy toward the environment includes quantifiable goals. Since implementing these policies in 2009, the Institute has:

  1. Analyzed its energy, water usage, and solid waste to set usage benchmarks and identify opportunities for reduction
  2. Reduced its energy usage by 20%
  3. Reduced its solid waste by over 50%
  4. Composted its food waste
  5. Used environmentally-friendly chemicals

Energy Efficiency

The buildings are designed to be energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. By building into the sides of hills the architects partially buried the Visitor Center, Education Building, and Prairie View guest quarters to protect against summer heat and winter cold.

On the inside, the Institute buildings are heated and air conditioned by a ground source heat pump. The facilities are barrier free and safe for those with chemical sensitivities and/or environmental illnesses.

Blue Zones

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute and other Barry County leaders have joined forces with Blue Zones to become the first Blue Zones community in Michigan. This project, which began in fall 2019, is an effort to enact a countywide well-being transformation in Barry County, Michigan through the Blue Zones Activate program. Blue Zones Activate is based on research and principles developed by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, who identified the cultures of the world—or blue zones—with the healthiest, longest-living populations. Blue Zones uses scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness to boost the well-being of entire communities. With a mission to inspire the appreciation and stewardship of our environment, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute believes the Blue Zones Activate initiative is an important community effort that needs, and will benefit from Pierce Cedar Creek Institute’s support. To learn more about the Blue Zones Project in Barry County and how you can get involved or track progress, visit bluezones.com/activate-barry-county

Job Posting! Stewardship Coordinator

Job Description:
The Stewardship Coordinator works under the guidance of the Stewardship Manager to improve the overall condition of the Institute’s natural areas and trail systems as they pertain to wildlife habitat and public use. The Stewardship Coordinator’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to)  assisting with land management planning, developing partnerships and coordinating volunteer activities, invasive plant species control, trail maintenance/improvements, native plant propagation and care (greenhouse maintenance, seed collection, transplanting, etc.), assisting with prescribed burns and other ecological restoration practices, GPS/GIS mapping, and assisting with educational/outreach programming.

Education Qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resource management, or related field from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • >2 years of experience in land management, wildlife management, or related field.
  • Experience working with and developing partnerships (non-governmental organizations, federal and state agencies, conservation groups, etc.).
  • Experience developing land management plans.
  • Experience utilizing GPS/GIS data collection equipment and proficient in ArcGIS mapping software.
  • Experience with the operation of large equipment (ie. skid steer, tractor, brush mower, zero-turn lawn mower, etc.).
  • Prescribed fire experience and/or basic training through the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council or the National Wildfire Coordination Group.
  • Basic plant identification skills and the ability to use a dichotomous key for positive identification of native and invasive plant species.

This is an hourly part-time position with an average of 36 hours per week with a starting pay of $16.50 per hour. EOE.

Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and list of references to Corey Lucas at lucasc@cedarcreekinstitute.org.