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