The Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens is a one-of-a-kind oasis in the city of Grand Rapids.

The preserve’s 100+ acres of native plants and natural habitats offer boundless opportunities to explore and connect with nature. Come enjoy wandering our trails, enroll in a class or educational program, or just sit and relax.

This incredible resource is open to all who wish to join us as we conserve, restore, protect, and appreciate the wonder of creation.

Come enjoy God’s amazing creation.

The Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens offers boundless opportunities to connect with nature. Grab your hiking boots, your binoculars, your sketch pad, your camera, or your journal, and find inspiration and restoration among the trees, ponds, grasses, flowers, and abundance of living creatures.


acres of forest, wetlands and a native plant garden

Native Gardens


species of native plants, giving the preserve an FQI score of 51.7


species of birds spotted in the preserve


average number of visitors who enjoy our trails annually


Grow, appreciate and understand.

All year long, we offer transformational educational programs for all ages. Our enthusiastic teachers and experts will share their love of nature by providing rewarding and immersive experiences. Whether you join us for a discovery hike, a creative game, an art project, a story, or an up-close look at our local wildlife, you’ll leave with a greater understanding of creation—and a greater passion for caring for it.

Our mission

Our mission

The Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens conserves, restores and interprets native ecosystems to inspire people to value and protect the wonder of creation.

Our story

Our story

The Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens was established in 1985 to restore and maintain this example of a West Michigan ecosystem. It occupies the northern half of Calvin University's east campus.

Our research

Conservation and research

The data gained from research projects at the Preserve has greatly enhanced our knowledge about the preserve lands as a whole, as well as the species that live in each habitat.


Volunteers help us thrive.

Volunteers of all ages from the Grand Rapids area are one of our greatest natural resources. If you’d like to make a tangible difference, we need your passion and your talent. In return, you’ll find a welcoming, supportive, and appreciative environment. Opportunities are available for a variety of ages and groups.

Your generosity matters.

Your gift of any amount will help sustain the Preserve and all the important work we do here—not just today, but for decades to come. Your investment helps improve our present and preserve our future.

Stay in touch with us.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us any time. We are happy to hear from you! For the latest info about upcoming programs and events, activities for exploring nature, volunteer opportunities and more, subscribe to our mailing list below:

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