Nature Center News

The Olsen Family Visits the Johnson Nature Center

"I really enjoyed welcoming the Olsen Family back to Bloomfield Hills Schools," shares Dan Badgley, Johnson Nature Center Manager.  "I would like to express our gratitude for their help making the Johnson Nature Center a beautiful place to visit." 

The Olsen Family is responsible for planting hundreds of trees, digging the pond, and keeping records of the wildlife and plants during their twenty years of ownership.  

"We walked the grounds and reminisced about fun memories – the Olsen family grew up here in the 1950's and 60's.  They built the Nature Center residence in 1947 and lived here until they sold the property to the school district in 1968," says Badgley.

Read more about The Olsen Family Visits the Johnson Nature Center
Science Standards Instruction at the Johnson Nature Center

The BHS Johnson Nature Center is known for maple syrup, the walking trails and pond, and the hawks and deer that reside there. However, you might not know that it is also a key partner in teaching the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) to Bloomfield Hills Schools students. All K-7th grade students take two field trips each year to the 35-acre preserve.

"Our main function is to augment the classroom instruction," Dan Badgley, Nature Center Manager says. "We run programs that are topical by grade.  For instance, fifth graders learn to explore ecosystems and second graders learn about plants and habitats.  We start by explaining science concepts and we follow up with engaging questions to bring more depth to the topic. We incorporate literacy and reading, too. Then, we break the students into small groups for hands-on experiences."

Read more about Science Standards Instruction at the Johnson Nature Center

The grounds are crisscrossed with more than two miles of pleasant trails, fit for snowshoeing in winter weather. Snowshoes are available for rent at the Nature Center on weekends ($3 person/$10 family of 4 per hour). Trails are open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - dusk and Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Read more about Trails