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Nature Education

No Boundaries
Nature education knows no boundaries and is not confined to a specific building or site. Children of all ages can learn about the outdoor world at school, in their back yard, at the Oakland County Parks, on a trail or countless other ways in myriad locations. Being active in nature helps make kids healthier!

Because of this philosophy, Oakland County Parks and Recreation implements a comprehensive approach to nature education:

  • Facility-based experiences welcome visitors to a specific site. The focus is on introducing guests to the special features at the specific venues, helping them understand why the places are unique.
  • Naturalist-based programming acquaints the visitor with the natural world through guided experiences led by trained interpreters.
  • Resource-based experiences connect visitors to unique park resources through participation in stewardship activities. Participants can learn how to protect, preserve and live in harmony with the natural world by assisting with invasive species control, watershed protection and wildlife surveys.

A Regional Resource
Oakland County Parks and Recreation works cooperatively with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Huron-Clinton Metroparks in the area of nature education. The goal is to collaboratively share resources and staff expertise to meet the regional need for nature education.

Through this collaborative effort, Oakland County Parks and Recreation will maximize outreach to urban areas and school classroom programs, expand the traveling nature education program, and host special events. Always, providing qualtiy program for residents and visitors is a top priority.

Two Nature Centers
Conveniently located in north and south Oakland County, the Red Oaks Nature Center in Madison Heights and Wint Nature Center in Clarkston offer exhibits and programs year-round.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation began operation and management of the Red Oaks Nature Center on Oct. 1, 2012. Formerly the Madison Heights Nature Center, the facility is located in the George W. Suarez Friendship Woods on Hales Road in Madison Heights. Details here.

Operation of the nature center fits with Oakland County Parks and Recreation's Strategic Master Plan, which includes a goal to acquire and/or develop additional parks and recreation facilities that provide regional recreation opportunities which enhance quality of life.

Check out the blue links at the left side of this page for details about nature education options at the Oakland County Parks.