Welcome to the Howard Christensen Nature Center!! Located in Northern Kent County and nestled upon 135 acres of natural ecosystems, HCNC has become refuge to a multitude of plants and wildlife. The property boasts plant species imported in the 1940’s found nowhere else in Michigan, a tannic kettle lake home to our resident Snapping Turtle Jaws and miles of swamp and ponds that were once part of a sophisticated manmade lagoon system. Donated by Frank and Rita Christensen in memory of their late son Howard, HCNC was developed as an environmental education center for the students of the Kent Intermediate School district. Through 3 changes of management, HCNCs core mission and vision are still deeply rooted in environmental education and field trips, now servicing schools from more than 6 intermediate school districts.
Now operated by Lily’s Frog Pad, Inc., a 501(c)3 not for profit organization, HCNC has greatly increase its reach with the introduction of community events and classes weekly, rentals of our beautiful facilities for weddings, parties and corporate events and our trails are now open to the public from dawn til dusk 7 days a week. We maintain regular office hours, with weekend hours as staffing and volunteerism permit.
By supporting HCNC, you are ensuring a future of environmental stewards as well as a place of solace and sanctity for plants and animals alike!