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 Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens is a 104 acre area comprised of forest, wetlands and gardens, and is host to our educational building, the Bunker Interpretive Center. In addition, you may prearrange access to our 68 acre Flat Iron Lake Preserve; this area is just a half hour drive from campus to Greenville, and hosts the Flat Iron Lake House. Take advantage of our distinctive resources!


Calvin Ecosystem PreserveNative Gardens and Flat Iron Lake Preserve are two of Calvin's most unusual and beautiful places to teach and conduct research. Find out more about teaching options and applying for research.


The Bunker Interpretive Center, Venema Plaza, Prince Pond Dock, and Flat Iron Lake House are some of Calvin's most unusual and beautiful places to hold a meeting, department retreat or workshop.


When you’re not enjoying your favorite study spot in the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens, take advantage of the many opportunities available to students. Find out more.

Be part of our team

Join the governing board and/or volunteer!

Reserve the fire pit

We are pleased to host one of the fire pits on campus. Come enjoy an evening relaxing around a fire in the Venema Plaza & Gardens.

Fire watch: You must have a Calvin faculty or staff member present at all times who is comfortable with the possibility of having to use the water hose and contact Campus Safety in the event of an emergency. This lead person must also ensure participants follow all preserve policies and close the event per instructions that will be provided (extinguishing fire, putting supplies away, etc.).

Reservation requests: Space is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first-served basis. Thursdays and Fridays during April 8 - May 7, 2021 are now booked, but you may request another date.

Amenities: We have 15 beach chairs you are welcome to use.

Important notes: Preserve trails close at dusk, so no one is permitted to walk the trails during your reservation. We do not have regular garbage removal, so please pack out all your trash. The fire pit cannot be used in high winds, so in that circumstance we reserve the right to cancel your reservation.

Request a Reservation