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 850 acres with ten miles of hiking trails. It is ten miles south of Hastings, Michigan. The Institute’s mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our environment. Visitors will experience the beauty of wetlands, forests, marshes, streams, lakes, and prairies on the property. The hiking trails are open daily dawn to dusk with experiences such as the Storywalk on the Black Walnut Trail, the Play Space for children, as well as the terrace, which extends from the Visitor Center south side parking lot around the back of the building. There are many opportunities to relax, meet with family and friends, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

History of Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

In 1988, Bill and Jessie Pierce formed The Willard G. Pierce and Jessie M. Pierce Foundation as a way to give back to the community that meant so much to them. The Pierces passed away in 1998 but prior to their deaths, the idea of building an environmental education center was conceived while visitng a friends' home and enjoying the natural beauty of Barry County. Read more about the Pierce legacy here.


Geologically, the landscape at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute was fashioned by the melting of the Saginaw Lobe ice sheet. Parts of the property lie in a glacial tunnel valley, an area where large volumes of melt water flowed underneath the glacier. Cedar Creek, Brewster Lake and the esker that runs north to south on the property all lie within the valley. Virtually the entire watershed of Brewster Lake, a pristine lake in southwest Michigan notable for its lack of non-native aquatic plants and fish species, lies within Pierce Cedar Creek Institute's property.  

Job Opening

Kitchen Assistant

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, a non-profit organization south of Hastings, is searching for a part-time 25 hours a week Kitchen Assistant to produce quality meals for Institute events. Preferred candidates will have at least one year of cooking or food prep experience, be certified in food safety or be willing to get certified, be able to stand for extended periods of time, physical ability to set-up meeting areas, and lift 20–30 lbs. Must be available to work a flexible schedule, including some weekends, evenings, and holidays. Wage is $15/hr. Paid vacation and holidays and a retirement plans are benefits of this position. No phone calls please. Click here for the full job description. To apply, send resume with references to HR/Hospitality Manager Tracy Noorman at noormant@cedarcreekinstitute.org.