Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

Explore Grand Traverse

cherry orchard sunset

Welcome to the beautiful Grand Traverse Region! We are the Grand Traverse Conservation District. For over 70 years, we have been a community-serving organization that cares for the people and places that make Northwest Michigan so special. Today, you’ll find us working tirelessly to keep our local farms sustainable, the Boardman River healthy, our natural parklands accessible, and our children outdoors.

We are based out of the beautiful Boardman River Nature Center in Traverse City. The Nature Center is an interpretive nature gallery aimed to educate and inspire visitors, with themes that change with the seasons. The Nature Center was built by the community, for the community, as a place to expand learning outside of the classroom and encourage children (and adults) to experience the outdoors.

We invite you to visit us at the Boardman River Nature Center and experience Grand Traverse County’sGateway to the Natural World!

We are the area’s insiders on the out-of-doors. Here is what we do:

  • Stewardship – We recognize that healthy, vibrant natural areas are the centerpiece of our local economy and our overall way of life. It is therefore vitally important that all people have the opportunity to access and explore our rivers, lakes and forests and learn how to properly care for these complex and ever-changing landscapes.
  • Education – From our headquarters at the Boardman River Nature Center, we craft nature experiences that connect children, adults and families to the natural world.  These experiences not only enrich the quality of their lives, but also empower them to play a personal role in protecting the natural resources that make our region so special.
  • Parklands – The Grand Traverse Conservation District models sustainable land management practices as we care for and provide public access to 3,000 acres of the region’s most treasured natural landscapes, along the Boardman River and throughout Grand Traverse County.
  • Agriculture – For over 70 years, we have worked hand-in-hand with hundreds of local farmers to safeguard our natural resources while providing for healthy, safe, high quality agricultural products. Our work has helped keep our groundwater clean, our soils productive, and our farm community vibrant.