Up in the Air: Birds Navigating the Anthropocene

Now open in the KNC Exhibits Hall

Only during the most recent part of the Anthropocene, the era of humans, have the birds along with all living things been required to survive in drastically and rapidly altered environments. Are the challenges to birds the same or different from those facing humans as we, too, try to survive and thrive on a changed planet? What can we do to minimize these impacts and to help birds thrive for millennia to come?

This new exhibit for all ages was developed by KNC and features the work being done by KNC bird experts throughout the seasons to study the changing habits of birds. Learn about bird banding in the fall while trying out your skills in our recreation of the banding barn. Make your own bird nest while learning about the natural – and sometimes human-made – materials birds source to create their nests. Original artwork by Kalamazoo artist Olivia Mendoza is the visual heart of the exhibition, along with displays of preserved eggs and birds.


Up in the Air
Up in the Air
Thanks to our sponsors

Up in the Air: The Unique Adaptations of Birds
Saturday, February 25, 1:30-2:30 pm
In this special program for ages 5-11, you’re invited to explore our exhibit, Up in the Air: Birds Navigating the Anthropocene, and participate in this hands-on program to learn about bird adaptations. Each month, you’ll have the chance to explore a new adaptation! Visit the Calendar for details and to register >

Going, Going, Gone

Going, Going, Gone

Open Now in the Glen Vista Gallery
Going, Going, Gone is a new solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist and environmentalist Kristina Sheufelt. Sheufelt uses a variety of media to examine themes of loss and absence in the natural world.

Learn more >

KNC Exhibits

NEW! Expedition Stations

 These carefully curated Expedition Stations, located in the KNC Visitor Center, provide fun and educational self-directed activities. Some content will be consistent throughout the year, while rotating activities will mirror the changing themes of current KNC exhibitions, programs, and seasonal changes in the natural world around us.  

Kapla Blocks

Creative Constructions

Young builders can create with Kapla blocks as they draw inspiration from examples of natural and human structures, including some of the original architectural drawings by Alden B. Dow. A growing photo gallery will document the inventive structures that visitors create. 



Explore samples of pond water and other intriguing details of the natural world using a microscope. An accompanying monitor will allow multiple people to investigate life on a small scale. 


Viewing station

Reading Corner  

The reading corner includes comfy spots to curl up with a book and includes some of the most visually engaging and eye-opening  books on science and ecology available for children and adults. 


Arts in the Expedition Stations

Arts and the Curious Cabinet

Designed to spark wonder, the Art Station and Curious Cabinet will give visitors a chance to try out a variety of art materials and explore fascinating objects from the natural world as inspiration for their artmaking. 



Inquiry Backpacks

Inquiry Backpacks

Provisioned with an essential set of tools for ecological inquiry, each backpack can be checked out from the Visitor Center’s Guest Services desk to extend visitors’ engagement with the natural world. 



Nature’s Playground

Water features at Nature’s Playground are open Saturdays and Sundays in September during Visitor Center hours!

Have fun exploring and enjoy the seasonal changes at Nature’s Playground, located in the Arboretum. Relax as you watch your kids play in the stream and water tower, build forts, and wander through the natural play areas. Better yet, join in the fun!

Nature’s Playground is open during KNC grounds hours and is included in regular KNC admission. Water features and restrooms are available weekends in September during Visitor Center hours. See current hours >

Eastern Screech Owl at KNC

Animal Ambassadors

KNC’s Animal Ambassadors program serves as an important reminder of the impact we have on the natural world. Get involved by participating in an Animal Ambassadors program, visit the animals on exhibit at the Visitor Center, or symbolically adopt an animal. Read more >

Heron Sculpture

Arts at KNC

Take in an exhibition in the Glen Vista Gallery, take part in a workshop, support local artists at the Buy Local Art & Gift Fair, or explore sculpture in the Arboretum – there’s always something amazing to see at KNC!  Read more >