Spring Migration Bird Bonanza
Celebrating Birds & the Wonders of Our Natural World!
Join us on May 27th as we celebrate all things birds! Participants will have the opportunity to go on guided birding hikes or accessible birding tours with local birding experts, meet a few of Blandford’s wildlife ambassador birds, and learn about Wildlife Photography from award-winning photographer, Steve Jessmore.
This event also includes the opportunity for shopping; with books from Books & Mortar, art from Querkus Creative, Son Visual, Field Sparrow Studios, Matthew Goetzka, Red Hydrant Press, and more! Grand Rapids Audubon, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, GR Outside, and The Land Conservancy of West Michigan will all be attending this event with yard games, information and additional resources about their organizations. For our young birders, we will have a bird-themed story time space in the Learning Lab and bird coloring sheets in our schoolhouse.
Pre-registration is available for this event, but not required.
Children 2 & Under: Free
Schedule of Events:
Wildlife Presentation*: 11:30 am–12:00 pm
Wildlife Photography Presentation with Steve Jessmore*: 12:30–1:30 pm
*Presentations will take place in the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center Auditorium
Birding Hikes & Tours (30 min) let by GR Audubon Club:
Back Forty Trails
|10:00-10:30 am||11:00-11:30 am||12:00-12:30 pm|
Bert Hewitt Meadow
|9:15-9:45 am||10:15-10:45 am||11:15-11:45 am||12:15-12:45 pm|
South Farm Trail
|9:30-10:00 am||10:30-11:00 am||11:30 am-12:00 pm||12:30-1:00 pm|
The Highlands Accessible Trail**
|9:45-10:15 am||10:45-11:15 am||11:45 am-12:15 pm|
**Tours will go out to The Highlands following our paved pathway, suitable for those with mobility challenges (0.9 miles).
Cancellation Policy: No refunds available for this event. If you are unsure, you will be able to attend, please plan to purchase tickets at the event. All Community Programs will be held unless there is severe weather, in which case you will receive a full registration refund. Please come prepared for the elements as refunds are not available for weather-related conditions except in the case of severe weather and you have been contacted that the program has been canceled.
Please Note: This program will take place indoors and outdoors. In the event of severe weather, the program will be canceled and participants will be notified of their refund options.
Blandford Nature Center partners with groups like the Grand Rapids Audubon Club to support our mission to engage and empower our community through enriching experiences in nature. We are aware of the broader conversations about the impact of John James Audubon’s legacy on today’s diverse birding community and are committed to ensuring an inclusive and welcoming experience for all program participants.
The accessible trail:
The hike will take place on Blandford’s 1-mile accessible trail, which takes you through the woods of Blandford and over into the Highlands! The accessible trail is completely paved and can easily accommodate all wheelchairs. Benches are also available along the length of the trail if rest breaks are needed throughout the hike.
There are eight accessible parking spaces, two of which can accommodate vans. The parking lot is a well maintained, paved surface with minimal cracks and bumps. Curb cuts are present to provide access from the parking lot to the sidewalk. There will be an accessible drop off area during this event in the case that all accessible parking spaces have been filled.
The main entrance to the Visitor Center has a push button automatic door entry with a 0.5-inch metal slope threshold. Entryways have been measured to ensure mobility devices can easily fit through them.
There is one accessible stall in both the men’s and women’s restrooms inside the Visitor Center. Stall size, toilet and sink heights, and entryway widths have all been measured to ensure ease of access for visitors. All-gender bathrooms are not provided at this location. There is one accessible portable toilet in the parking lot of the Highlands if needed.
We have Accessibility Equipment that can be checked out on a first-come, first-served basis for free. The following items are included:
- 2 walkers
- 1 electric mobility scooter
- 1 adult wheelchair
- 1 children’s all-terrain wheelchair (GRIT)
Equipment Check-out Process:
- Blandford staff will explain some basic elements of the equipment and provide a “Quick Start Guide” to the borrower.
- Borrowers must give a set of keys to staff to hold for the duration of equipment use. The keys will be placed in an envelope with the borrower’s name and held in the safe.
- As the borrower, you must review and sign the Release Agreement prior to leaving the Visitor Center. Please note that if the person using the equipment is under the age of 18 or not their own guardian, the signature of either a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 is required.