Programs and Events

Events & Programs for the Whole Family!

At Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, we offer year-round programs and special events. Whether we are celebrating the changing of the seasons or offering science programs, we always offer the opportunity for the whole family to join in on the fun! Many of our programs and events are free, although, some special events may have a small fee applied.

Current Events

As of April 27, 2020, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute has postponed or canceled all public events until further notice. We are committed to continuing to stay up-to-date on this very fluid situation and making the best decisions we can with the information provided. Until we are able to host public events again, we will be offering some virtual events. If you have any questions about the following events, please contanct Community Program Manager Ellen Holste at


Virtual Stroll with Nature: Grasshoppers and Crickets—Musicians of the Insect World
Wednesday, August 5
10 – 11 am

Discover the many sounds grasshoppers and crickets make and how and why they make them through stories, hands-on activities, and suggestions for short “strolls” on trails or through your neighborhood. This program will be live-streamed through Zoom, so you will have an opportunity to interact with and ask questions of Community Program Manager Ellen Holste.

Register Here

Virtual BioBlitz Hike: Do You Like Lichen?
Thursday, August 6
4 – 5 pm

Discover the many organisms that make up lichen, how to identify different types of lichen, and where they are found. Also, learn how lichen are important to humans! You will learn about lichen in a Zoom presentation and then be given the tools to go outside and try to identify and record your observations through smartphone apps and online reporting.

Register Here

Stories in the Sky
Tuesday, August 11
7 – 8 pm

From the Greeks to Native Americans, almost every culture has created narratives to explain the stars in the night sky. Explore these stories with Storyteller and Teacher Jon Hawkins and learn about different summer constellations then join us for a constellation craft. This event is in collaboration with the Hastings Public Library and will be live-streamed through Zoom, so you can view the night sky through an online planetarium while listening to star stories.

Register Here

Due to social distancing restrictions the Institute has implemented in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are not able to have A Latesummer Night’s Green as we have in years past. It simply isn’t possible. \
What we can have, though, is a successful fundraiser. But we need your help to make that happen.

This year our fundraising efforts will focus on two of the most popular elements of A Latesummer Night’s Green: a raffle and Fund A Future. The raffle will feature five unique and distinctly Institute-related prizes:

1. Private Hike and Picnic
Community Program Manager Ellen Holste will lead a hike on the topic of your choice. Options include History of the Landscape, Snowshoeing, Spring or Fall Wildflowers, Fungi, Wild Edibles and/or Poisonous Plants, Lichen, Trees, Michigan Geology, or the Five Senses. After your hike, enjoy a picnic of seasonal favorites made by Chef Dan and his staff.

2. Name a Baby Eastern Box Turtle
Researchers from Grand Valley State University initiated a multi-year study of the Institute’s Eastern box turtle population. Last year they collected baby turtles hatched at the Institute and transported them to John Ball Park Zoo to overwinter. This spring they brought the turtles back home and released them onto Institute property. Fitted with transmitters, these young turtles will provide researchers information on their movement and survival. Seven lucky winners will have the chance to name one of these baby turtles—certainly, a chance of a lifetime!

3. Camping and Survival Training in the Little Grand Canyon
Spend two nights (Friday and Saturday) camping in the Little Grand Canyon while learning how to survive and thrive in the wilderness. Your experience will also include a 3 hour guided hike featuring Institute’s natural history and ongoing restoration projects.

4. Fishing Trip on Brewster Lake
Brewster Lake, a beautiful 13 acre lake on Pierce Cedar Creek Institute property, is home to largemouth bass, perch, and bluegill. One lucky winner will get the opportunity to fish on Brewster Lake. To maintain its pristine quality, the winner will use the Institute’s watercraft, as well as artificial lures and clean personal fishing equipment.

5. Tour of Alice and Ken Jones’s Library
The Institute was recently gifted the home and property once owned by longtime neighbors and supporters Alice and Ken Jones. Now Michelle Skedgell, our executive director, lives in the home, and she is offering the chance to come explore this amazing library, a compilation of gifts and purchases that represent their amazing life of travel, education, interests, and hobbies. Whether you come for an hour or a day, enjoy sitting in the beautiful library as you look through the estimated 300 books in the collection. As an added bonus, you will also see one of the most unique homes in Barry County on one of the most beautiful settings. We can’t wait tofind out which book you choose!

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 and will be available July 15 – August 28 at 5pm. The raffle drawing will take place August 31 at 3 pm and will be broadcast live on Zoom. You do not need to watch the live drawing to win.

Buy Your Raffle Tickets and Donate to Fund A Future Today!

Fund A Future is simply our way of asking you to make a donation that will support the research opportunities we offer through our biological field station and the community programs we provide for people of all ages. In its live version, Fund A Future is an auction during which participants “bid” to make a donation of a specific monetary value; it starts at $1,000 and ends at $25. Of course, this year’s Fund A Future will be a bit different. Instead of having an auction, we are asking our members and friends to help us meet a specific fundraising goal: our event sponsors have generously donated $8,500. If we can match this total through donations from our members and friends, a group of anonymous donors will donate an additional $8,500, bringing the fundraising total to $25,500!

Donate to Fund A Future Today!

Holiday Gift Show Vendors
Application deadline: August 31

The Institute is now accepting applications for approval to vend at the Holiday Gift Show on Sunday, November 8.

Application for Approval to Vend

See Full Calendar of Events