Did you know Calvin is one of only three higher education institutions in Michigan that have a full-scale nature preserve on their main campus? The Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens and Flat Iron Lake Preserve are two of Calvin's most unusual and beautiful places to teach and conduct research. Take advantage of our distinctive resource!

Academics

1. Use the outdoor and indoor teaching spaces for classes and research to connect what your students are learning in the classroom to the real world. English, art, kinesiology, engineering, education, seminary, geology, biology, and psychology are all departments that have found sessions in the preserve impactful to students’ learning. You can also teach full interim or evening courses in the Bunker Interpretive Center (BIC) and hold labs and retreats at our Flat Iron Lake House.  A note about using the facilities: content related to or inspired by the natural environment and respite retreats are ideal uses for the facilities. We do not reserve space for activities unrelated to our mission (of educating for creation care, restoring the land and renewing spirits), or for personal events.

  • Reserve time in the Ecosystem Preserve or space in the BIC
  • Reserve time in the Flat Iron Lake Preserve or space in the Flat Iron Lake House

2. Collaborating with preserve staff is a wonderful instrument for multi-disciplinary teaching. We are available for resource consultation, to be guest presenters and/or partners with professors, and to provide service learning and project opportunities for your classes and labs. The outcome of these collaborations for students are seeing real-world applications of their work; for example, the engineering department has created functional Little Free Libraries for the preserve, and the art department has created an online field guide with photos of plants blooming in our native gardens. To discuss ways in which we can support your curriculum, contact Jeanette Henderson.

3. Tour our LEED Gold Certified building with your class, and see its environmentally friendly features.

4. Conduct research at the Ecosystem Preserve or Flat Iron Lake Preserve.

Hold a department retreat or workshop

A note about using the facilities: Content related to or inspired by the natural environment and respite retreats are ideal uses for the facilities. We do not reserve space for activities unrelated to our mission (of educating for creation care, restoring the land and renewing spirits), or for personal events.

Be part of our team

Join the governing board and/or volunteer!