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DU Cares

 Since 1978, Davenport University has annually selected a community partner to give back through human and monetary resources. In addition, this partnership serves as a great resource for volunteer opportunities and service-learning projects for the Davenport community.

This year's DU Cares Partner is... Blandford Nature Center!

Who We Are 

The mission of Blandford Nature Center is to educate, engage, and empower our community to become stewards of the natural world that sustains us. Their vision is to invigorate relationships with nature that lead individuals to transform their community and create a healthy, sustainable world.

Blandford Nature Center lease 143 acres from the City of Grand Rapids and use the land and wildlife as the perfect backdrop to provide quality environmental education and community programs that: 

  • Educate our community to understand our environment, our heritage, and our connection to natural systems.
  • Engage people to actively use natural spaces and become stewards of the natural world.
  • Empower people to embrace nature, new perspectives, and sustainable practices.

What We Do

Blandford Nature Center believes children and adults learn best through personal experience. Our job, and our passion, is to invite our community to get their hands dirty in nature – whether that be standing knee-high in water to learn about stream ecology or planting squash seeds to start a garden.

  • Since 2010 we’ve been growing our farm. Today, Blandford Farm consists of 2.5 acres where we focus on sustainable agriculture to grow healthy, chemical-free produce. Additionally, we educate and engage families and students through our farm related programs.
  • Investigate the “Science of Sugaring” in Blandford’s 45th Annual Sugarbush Festival! Through our Sugarbush demonstrations, you will learn just what it takes to transform maple sap into the thick, dark syrup we all know and love!
  • Let vibrant red and yellow fall colors beckon you towards Blandford’s Harvest Festival! Activities include live music, candle making, wagon rides, making scarecrows, face painting and much more. 
  •  Blandford Nature Center provides outdoor science-based education programs to all Grand Rapids Public School first and third grade students.

Why We're Here

Through educational programs, community events and 143 acres of nature, Blandford Nature Center hopes to further develop and strengthen innovative approaches to delivering outdoor educational programming in our distinct urban setting in Grand Rapids.

Visit Blandford Nature Center online.

Email volunteer.center@davenport.edu to get involved!