Persons with mobility, visual, hearing or other special needs, including limited English proficiency who need assistance to participate in any programs, should contact the appropriate center at least 72 hours in advance.
Learn about the rich natural and cultural history of Southeastern Michigan at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Whether you’re intrigued about a plant or animal, looking for something fun to do with friends or family, or studying a specific topic as part of a group, there are a variety of interpretive programs to help you learn more about our natural, historical and cultural resources. With 10 full-service interpretive facilities and a mobile outreach program, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks provides one of the largest, most diversified educational programs in the country. The parks cover more than 25,000 acres in Livingston, Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties and serves as a “natural classroom."
Programs are available for all grade levels and many meet the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs). Interpreters can also assist educators in designing programs that are relevant to the needs of what the educator is teaching in the classroom. The HCMA interpretive department is a member and supporter of the Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition (MNCLIC), which understands that positive outdoor experiences contribute to kids being more healthy and doing better in school.
Mobile Classroom Visits
The Mobile Learning Center is a 48 foot trailer filled with natural and cultural history exhibits that serves Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties. It is offered primarily to communities, schools and related groups that may not have the opportunity or means to visit the Metroparks. For more information, click on Mobile Learning Center.
Scouting Opportunites at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks
Public Programs and Group Appointments
Enjoy one of the fabulous educational programs at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Individual, family and group programs require advance registration by calling the Metropark Interpretive Center you plan to visit. Outreach programs are conducted offsite on a limited basis by most centers. The Metroparks Mobile Learning Center offers educational, offsite programs throughout the year. Teachers and group leaders may request a nature-oriented topic of their choice or have a general program that highlights the nature events of the season.
To learn more about the unique educational experiences at our Metropark Interpretive Centers, please visit the individual sites below:
Education Opportunities By Park:
Environmental Discovery Center
Explore the diversity of Southeast Michigan’s original habitats. The Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) is a gateway into the complexity and beauty of prairies, wetlands and woods, recreated here for you to study, enjoy and appreciate.
Go on a Wildlife Exploration to discover the plants and animals that you can see at Indian Springs Metropark. University of Michigan art student Natalie Freilich developed this interactive page. Have fun!
Meet farm animals and get a glimpse of rural life at the Farm Center at Kensington Metropark. Explore extraordinary programs on our agricultural heritage and where some of our food comes from, and see live farm animals like chickens, sheep, cattle and draft horses. At Kensington Metropark, tour a 150-year old restored barn and poultry house, and take a short walk to the Kids’ Cottage
, a one-of-a kind “green” building made from trees, rocks, soil and plants found primarily at the park. Each March, Kensington staff tap trees and boil the sap to make maple syrup. For more information contact Kensington Metropark Farm Center at (248) 684-8632.
2013 Program Guide for the Kensington Farm Center
For additional information, program brochures and registration forms please click on the appropriate link below.
2013 Farmer for a Day
NEW Farmer Jr. *full*
2013 Fun on the Farm
Teachers, Click and See!
We are beginning to offer our resource packets in portable document format (PDF). View post-trip background information, activities and bibliographies from your computers. Just click on your program of choice to open the PDF.
Maple Sugaring Preschool through 2nd Grade
Maple Sugaring 3rd Grade and up
Farm Tour Preschool through 2nd Grade
Farm Tour 3rd Grade and up
Also,current Grade Level Content Expectations
for the Kensington Farm Center’s school programs are now available in electronic format. Arranged by grade level, topic and content standards, these PDF documents are sure to help any teacher plan a successful educational trip to the farm. Click on the links below to find out how. And for all other program details as well as how to register, check out the Teachers' Guide to Farm Programs, also below. We look forward to seeing your class at the farm!
Teachers' Guide to Farm Programs
Farm Tour GLCE
Maple Sugaring GLCE
Harvest Adventure GLCE
Kids' Cottage GLCE
Marshlands Museum & Nature Center
Explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Downriver/Lake Erie shore region through exhibits and interpretive programs at the Marshlands Museum and Nature Center. The history of waterfowl hunting is brought to life with artifacts and photos featuring all phases from boats to decoys.
A huge diorama depicts the endless marsh horizon of yesteryear set under a quilted autumn sky. The museum also features seasonal displays on marsh and lake ecology, highlighted by a 1,300 gallon Great Lakes aquarium, and the “Muskrat Club,” an interactive corner for children.
One of the premier hawk watching sites in North America, Lake Erie Metropark is host to migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall, and birds of prey in the fall. Hawkfest, an annual birding festival celebrating the migration of birds of prey, is held in September. Nature interpreters maintain a park bird species list. Birding programs include hawk and duck identification programs and bird walks.
Visit Luc, our resident bald eagle, who lives in an outdoor aerie near the museum.
Nature trails and boardwalks invite visitors to explore the 200-acre nature study area, including marshes, hawthorn thickets, old canals and a reconstructed boathouse. Wildlife watching opportunities are excellent year round. Of special note are the fall migrations of birds of prey and waterfowl, the winter population of tundra swans, the ever-present muskrat and rare fox snake.
The Nature Center at Lake St. Clair Metropark features displays on wetlands, waterfowl, live animals and the historical use of the area by the French Voyageurs. Park interpreters host nature walks and interpretive programs.
A portion of Lake St. Clair Metropark is set aside for the study and enjoyment of nature. One and one-half miles of self-guided nature trails teeming with wildlife traverse a freshwater marsh, meadows and woods. The terrain is flat. Trails are open from daylight to dusk. Trail maps and information on services provided by the park interpreters are available at the Nature Center and the Park Office. Call 586-463-4332
Participate in games, and view exhibits and live displays. Interpreters are available to assist you in your enjoyment and understanding.
The nature study area at Oakwoods Metropark is comprised of 400 acres featuring an ancient sandbar, backwater trails for canoeists, five nature trails, a butterfly garden and a three-acre pond. Interpretive leaflets are available in the Nature Center to be used in conjunction with consecutively numbered posts along each nature trail. Trees are also highlighted by means of informative labels. Call 734.782.3956 for information.
Oakwoods Nature Center Building Hours
Fall, Winter & Spring Hours
Monday - Closed
Tuesday through Friday - Open 1 pm to 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday - Open from 10 am to 5 pm
Monday - Closed
Tuesday through Sunday - Open 10 am to 5 pm
See live snakes, turtles and fish, along with seasonal exhibits at the Stony Creek Nature Center, or hike along the self-guided nature trails. Park interpreters conduct interesting hikes and other programs including paddling a 34-foot Voyageur canoe to learn about Stony Creek Lake. Trail maps and program information are available at the Nature Center or Park Office. Please contact the Nature Center at 586-781-9113.
Stony Creek, Reflection Pond, woods, fields, woodland edges and small wetlands all placed in a landscape formed ages ago by glaciers, provide the backdrop for the six miles of trails that course through the moderately hilly terrain of the Nature Study Area. Look for a variety of birds, including wild turkeys. Nature interpreters maintain a park bird species list.
Get a glimpse of rural life at the Wolcott Mill Metropark Farm Center, a 250-acre working farm. Explore extraordinary programs on our agricultural heritage and where some of our food comes from. Visit live farm animals like chickens, sheep, cattle and draft horses at the farm center. An herb garden, field crops and old-fashioned farm equipment are also on display. Wolcott Farm features a modern dairy operation, with the cows milked daily at 10 a.m. For more information contact Wolcott Mill Metropark Farm Center at (586) 752-5932
Take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the Historic Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark. From 1847 to 1967, the grist and feed mill operated and the barn served as stable, and later, a sales area. Today, the historic buildings and surrounding land offer you a rare glimpse of the past. Machinery in the mill is all original, left in place when it shut down in 1967. The equipment dates from all periods of operation, and many have been reconditioned to demonstrate the mill workings. The barn now acts as a museum featuring the history of American barns, an antique buggy, farming equipment and tools. A gazebo provides a focal point for events, or weddings, or a quiet place for conversation or photographs. Interpreters give tours by appointment, and conduct programs on most weekends throughout the year. For additional information, please call (586) 749-5997