Local Organizations

Biology-Related Local Organizations

Learn more about the local flora and fauna, and the types of research and conservation efforts underway in the area through Kalamazoo area organizations.  Many have monthly meetings or special events that are open to the public.

  • Asylum Lake Preserve –  a 274-acre parcel of land that is owned by Western Michigan University. The lake and adjoining property serves as a research area for professors and students of anthropology, biology, geography, hydrogeology, and environmental studies at WMU as well as other educational institutions.
  • Kalamazoo Nature Center – a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.  Interpretive center, walking trails, bird observatory, art gallery, and more.  Admission charged.
  • Lillian Anderson Arboretum – a 140 acre parcel of land that is owned by Kalamazoo College.  The arboretum contains marsh, meadow, pine plantation and second-growth deciduous forest habitat, as well as a farmhouse.  The ‘arb’ is  serves as a valuable resource for experiential learning, community building, conservation, recreation and contemplation.
  • Pierce Cedar Creek Institute – promoting environmental education, research, preservation, and appreciation. Set on 661 acres in Barry County, PCCI is a mix between a nature center and biological field station.  It provides visitors with exposure to diverse habitats including wetlands, forests, marshes, streams, lakes, and prairies and offers programs to serve the community while also building partnerships with area colleges and universities to serve their faculty and students.  The Institute is open to the public, year-round, free of charge. Visitors may explore over seven miles of nature trails.
  • Audubon Society of Kalamazoo – dedicated to wildlife conservation, nature education and outdoor recreation with a focus on birds.  Monthly meetings and field trips.
  • Kalamazoo Astronomical Society – the oldest organization of its kind in Michigan and one of the largest. Its purpose is to promote the exchange of information among those with a common interest in all areas of astronomy, to educate the public about astronomical discoveries and events and to cooperate with other amateur and professional astronomical organizations.  Membership consists of people from all walks of life, educational backgrounds and ages.  The majority of the membership are novices or armchair astronomers; most don’t even own a telescope. Therefore, you don’t need any technical knowledge or fancy equipment to be a part of the KAS.  Monthly meetings and field trips.
  • Michigan Botanical Club, Southwestern chapter – dedicated to the discovery, study and protection of Michigan’s rich flora since 1941.  Monthly meetings and field trips.
  • Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) –  a nonprofit land conservancy created in 1991, SWMLC works to help individuals and organizations preserve and permanently protect natural, historic and scenic landscapes in nine counties of southwest Michigan. Many SWMLC preserves are open to the public for passive recreational use. 
  • Wild Ones –  The Kalamazoo Area chapter of Wild Ones was established to help inform, educate and offer resources to people interested in learning about native plants. Wild Ones promotes “environmentally sound landscaping practices to encourage biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.”  Monthly meetings and field trips.