Fall on Beech Maple Trail

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization located in Kalamazoo, Michigan whose mission is to create relationships & experiences that welcome and inspire people to discover, enjoy, value, and care for nature.

KNC envisions a resilient community where all people have strong interconnections with the natural world.

KNC History

School group walking over bridge circa 1960s

Certain places have a magic that draws people to them. Today, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, recognized by its peers as one of the top nature centers in the country, has expanded to include 1,100 acres of wooded, rolling countryside five miles north of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Learn more about the history of KNC here.

KNC's Policy to Promote Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Watch the 50th Anniversary video, "Golden Past, Green Future," by Lawrence Productions


2021-2025 Strategic Plan

Strategic Foundation
KNC has identified four core areas that are foundational for all the work they will complete during the next five years. Elements of this foundation are comprehensively incorporated in the plan.

• Goal #1 High Quality Programming: KNC will continue to develop the strategy, capacity, and effective processes to deliver high quality, relevant programming for our community.

•  Goal #2 Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity: KNC will transform its leadership, programs, and policies to further a vision of equitable access, reflection, and universal engagement across our entire community.

• Goal #3 Innovative Infrastructure: KNC will become a vital place to visit and work by investing in our facilities, grounds, technology, operations, and people.

•  Goal #4 Sustainability: KNC will demonstrate and offer programs that promote meaningful action toward the greater sustainability concerns of our time, including climate change, habitat conservation, food security, and financial stewardship.

Read the entire KNC Strategic Plan and KNC's Core Values here.


Annual Reports

View the most current Annual Report, along with previous years, below:

2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014

KNC Board Member Receives Climate Champion Award

Dr. Denise KeeleKNC Trustee Dr. Denise Keele, Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Western Michigan University, received the inaugural Michigan Climate Action Network's (MCAN) Climate Champion Award at the organization's virtual Michigan Climate and Clean Energy Summit in May, 2021. According to the MCAN release, the group created the award to "recognize Michiganders doing exceptional climate and justice work." The Climate Champion Award is given to a professional doing exceptional climate and justice work for an organization, a municipality, or business in Michigan. 

KNC Board & President

Nathan Smallwood - President & CEO


2020-21 Board of Trustees

Chairperson Lucas Mansberger
Chairperson Elect Jim Stark
Secretary Denise Keele, Ph.D.
Treasurer Robert Loftus
Kelly Clarke
Jon Durham
Jim Justice
Paul Manstrom
Steven Rypma
Sandy Standish, Ph.D.
Afifa Thaj