The ODC Nature Preserve has six naturally occurring, distinct ecosystems on its 155 acre site which include: ponds, remnant dunes, wetlands, meadows, remnant prairies, and lowland hardwood forests. This unique and ecologically diverse area offers the community and schools a place to experience nature close-up. Over three miles of walking trails and boardwalks wind through the grounds and provide access (including handicap access) to the various ecosystems. Trails are open to the public for free during daylight hours every day of the year.
The Visitors Center first opened in October 2015. The 5,000 sq ft facility was a long-planned vision of the organization with the original concept being discussed prior to the year 2000. It became part of the Building a Sustainable Future campaign that was launched in 2005. The building decor has been finished with reclaimed barn wood to help bring the feel of the outdoors inside.
The Visitor Center is home to North American wildlife exhibits with taxidermy and live animals. Visitors, young and old, will experience the wonders of nature through interpretive displays.
One wing of the building is dedicated to habitats. It displays taxidermy in dioramas designed especially for our collection by the team from Legends Taxidermy in Scottville, MI.
Another display room has both live animals and taxidermy arranged to illustrate the five vertebrate animal groups.
A large multi-purpose room has mobile display carts that can be moved to make it a large meeting or presentation space.
The wildlife viewing room provides views of the bird feeding station. The room also serves as a resting space with seating and a play area for small children.