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

The Grand Traverse Conservation District

Our Mission:

“The Grand Traverse Conservation District inspires exploration, appreciation and conservation of our natural world.”

The Grand Traverse Conservation District is a community-serving organization that cares for the people and places that make Northwest Michigan so special.  We’ve been working for over 70 years to keep our local farms sustainable, the Boardman River healthy, our parklands accessible, and our children outdoors.

Our “four pillars” provide the foundation for a sustainable Grand Traverse Region:

  • 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.

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’s Gateway to the Natural World!

What exactly do we do every month? Check out our monthly status reports:

Interested in signing up for our monthly newsletter? If so, send us an email at!

View the 2015 Annual Report

View the 2016 Board of Directors Meeting Schedule

Contact Us!

Phone: 231.941.0960
Fax: 231.941.0837    
1450 Cass Rd Traverse City, MI 49685