Library Programs

Our staff routinely facilitates programs at libraries throughout western Michigan. Most programs offered can be modified to meet the needs of a library and its audience. Like other programs offered, naturalists teach in an energetic and interactive way to keep the audience interested and involved. Many of the complimentary items brought to a library program are either passed around during a program or following a program for participant hands-on experiences. Most programs have a live animal component to them where wildlife including reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds are used to illustrate key points to the program theme.

If you are interested in scheduling a program, please contact the office for more information: 616.393.9453 or

2020 Showcase Program:

Backyard Myths and Legends

Barred Owl

Don’t touch that toad or you’ll get warts! Stay back, or that porcupine will shoot you with its quills! If you kiss that frog, he’ll become a handsome prince. Are daddy long legs the most venomous spider in the world? Can owls can turn their heads in a complete circle? Was that an opossum hanging by its tail? Join us as we contemplate some legendary stories and learn the truth about the animal world just beyond our back door.

Live animals, taxidermy and artifacts will be used during the presentation. Depending on the size of the audience, animals may be shared during the presentation or at its conclusion for an open format exploration time.


PROGRAM FEE: $290 (Fee includes a one hour program, at least one presenter, and hand-outs

Traveling Fee:
Free – Ottawa, Allegan, Kent, Muskegon Counties
$75 – VanBuren, Kalamazoo, Barry Counties
$100 – Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Montcalm, Ionia Counties
$150 – Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Clinton,
Eaton, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass Counties

Summer 2020 Brochure

Other Programs:

The Outdoor Discovery Center promotes and provides conservation, preservation, outdoor education, and recreation experiences which foster stewardship and benefit wildlife, people, communities and the environment. Groups that work with the us include schools, scouts, cadets, churches, businesses and libraries. Listed below are several of the more popular program themes offered by our naturalist staff. Each program is easily adapted to library settings. If included in a program, hands-on exploration is usually planned for the last 15 minutes of the program time.

Live Birds of Prey: A Bird's Eye View

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

The Outdoor Discovery Center’s collection of live birds of prey is used to highlight the life history of various species including hawks, owls and falcons. All birds used during these programs are non releasable to the wild. Depending on the group size, birds will be walked around the room during the presentation or brought out after the presentation for closer inspection by visitors. Hands-on artifacts include skulls, feathers, pelts, and talons.

Snakes, Turtles, and Lizards, Oh My!

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Michigan is home to a diversity of reptile species. The ODC is fortunate to house a number of live, native reptiles that can be used in educational programs. Audiences will learn how a reptile differs from other animal groups and how to identify them. Hands-on artifacts include skins, skulls, eggs, and shells of several species native to Michigan.

Wonderful Wetland Critters

Damselfly Nymph

Damselfly Nymph

A wetland is a home for a wide variety of plants and animals. Our staff will share live examples of both vertebrate and invertebrate organisms that can be found in and near wetlands in Michigan. Animals may include toads, frogs, salamanders, fish, leeches, dragonflies, damselflies and more. Throughout the program, our naturalist will offer insight into the life history and habitat of the organisms used. The group will be able to see a number of animals during the presentation part of the program and then have a chance to handle many of them during the exploration time.

Up Close and Wild

Black Rat Snake

Black Rat Snake

This program focuses on introducing audiences to Michigan wildlife. Live animals including reptiles, amphibians and birds will be used during the presentation. People will learn unique characteristics of animals and how they fit into our diverse ecosystems. Hands-on artifacts include skins, skulls, wings, feathers and talons of several species native to Michigan.

Things that go “Who” in the Night

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Owls capture the attention of almost anyone who is lucky enough to encounter them in the wild. This live bird program will highlight several common owl specie and show participants how they can encourage them to live in their backyard. Hands-on artifacts include feathers, pelts, skulls, and talons.