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? Take advantage of our distinctive resource by: visiting for a study break, attaining education certifications to use in your future career, or getting dirty while donating time to keep this ecosystem healthy and beautiful.


The preserve offers numerous ways for you to prioritize your health and wellness while at Calvin - mentally, spiritually, and physically.

  • Take a hike or quietly meditate. As little as 10 minutes a day in nature can provide benefits for mental health and wellbeing.
  • Participate in wellness programming. We hold intermittent collaborative events with the Center for Counseling and Wellness, Healthy Minds student organization, and Thrive through residence life. Annual events, like Reading Recess Recharge, are joined by activities like Mindfulness Walks, nature art events, discussions and more, to explore and enjoy the connection between nature and wellness. We’re always happy to pursue new collaborations, so please reach out if you have an idea for wellness programming at the preserve!
  • Volunteer. Volunteering gives you a chance to take a break from class work, to connect with nature and with other people, and to give back. All of these factors benefit mental health and wellbeing! Find out more about the volunteer opportunities open to students at the preserve.

Career development

Hold a student organization 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.

  • Reserve space in the Bunker Interpretive Center
  • Reserve space in Flat Iron Lake House