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

Boardman River Nature Center

Built in 2008 on the banks of the Boardman River on the Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve, the Boardman River Nature Center is your gateway to the natural world. The Nature Center offers an interpretive gallery with live animals and rotating exhibits that change with the seasons. The displays encourage interaction and feature Michigan’s most interesting fauna and flora.

It is through the ongoing generosity and support of our many friends and partners that we are able to offer the Boardman River Nature Center as an admission free-destination for nature learning and discovery. Operated by the Grand Traverse Conservation District, the Nature Center allows us to deliver education programs right at the source, on the doorstep to a 505-acre living laboratory.

Visit our fossil exhibit!  Learn more.

Hours and Location – The Boardman River Nature Center is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5.00 during the following:

  • Tuesday – Wednesday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday, 12:30pm – 4:00pm
  • Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm 
  • Select Saturdays, 10:00-4:00pm

Find us at 1450 Cass Rd., Traverse City, MI 49685 (1.5 miles south of South Airport Rd.)

Education Programs – 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 our lives, but also empower us to play a personal role in protecting the natural resources that make our region so special.

Naturally Wild Birthday Parties – Have your child’s next birthday at the Nature Center! Click here for more information!

Volunteer at the Nature Center – From Nature Center docents to trail stewards to education assistants, volunteer opportunities abound at the Boardman River Nature Center. For more information, please visit our volunteer page.

Richard M. O’Neil Nature Library – Browse for and borrow books from our Nature Library. Check out our inventory list and come by the Nature Center and exchange your information for the books or field guides of your choosing.