Create your own adventure
Enhance your exploration of the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens with our free Discovery Field Packs. This self-guided, year-round program is designed for you and your scout, youth, homeschool, or family group to explore nature at your own pace. To enrich your adventure, we provide themed backpacks containing easy-to-understand exploration guides, field guides, exploration tools and additional supplies, which children of all ages will enjoy. Take a pack out on our beautiful trails and use the activities provided to help you observe, explore, and appreciate our wildlife and natural areas. Many of the activities are seasonal, so you can come back during different seasons for new discoveries.
There are four individually themed field packs available to choose from:
- Avian Adventures (birds)
- Michigan Trees (trees)
- Wildlife Detectives (animals signs and tracking)
- Eco Explorers (general)
Each pack is outfitted with materials for up to 12 people, with the exception of the Avian Adventures field pack (which contains two pairs of binoculars). For scout groups, most everything you need to complete a badge requirement is inside the pack.
Guidelines for using a field pack
Packs are available on a first come, first served basis. Pack must be returned 15 minutes before closing time. Limit one pack per family/group per visit. Contents of packs are subject to change. Fees may apply for damaged or lost items.
Signing out a field pack
Drop in during business hours (for families):
Drop-in hours at the Bunker Interpretive Center are Monday through Friday, typically 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Please see a staff member when you arrive to complete a short sign-out form. There is no charge to use a field pack; however, a "deposit" of a driver's liscence is required, and will be returned to you when the pack is returned.
Reserve in advance (for groups, or to use during evenings or weekends):
You may reserve a pack online by completing a reservation form (Note to Mac users: you must complete this form using Adobe Reader, not Preview). Or to reserve a pack by phone, please contact Julie Wilbourn. Field packs may be picked up prior to the day you plan to use them, so you can familiarize yourself with the contents. Sign out and return times are during business hours, Monday through Friday, typically 9 a.m.–4 p.m. There is no charge to use a field pack; however, a $50 deposit is required (check payable to Calvin University or cash), and will be returned to you when the pack is returned.
Discovery Field Packs are made possible by a generous private donation.