The Dahlem Conservancy is a non-profit organization that manages and funds the John and Mary Dahlem Environmental Education Center. We bridge the gap between people and the natural environment, and function as an outdoor classroom for school and public programs.
Enjoy the beauty of nature at the John and Mary Dahlem Environmental Education Center. Colorful gardens, lush forests, flower-studded grasslands, rolling meadows, marshes, and ponds blanket our nearly 300 acres and help highlight Michigan’s changing seasons. With five miles of hiking trails, including the 3/8 mile Nature for All Trail, unique exhibits and year-round educational programs, visitors can spend the day exploring the great outdoors and discovering the wonders of nature.
An indoor exhibit area, which includes live animals, is located within the visitor center, next to the Nutshell Gift Shop. The Nutshell is a great place to shop for the outdoor person and is an excellent source for nature-related books, clothing, bird-feeding supplies, jewelry and many other items, including fresh wreaths during the holidays.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The mission of the Dahlem Conservancy is to provide environmental education and outdoor experiences to the people of south central Michigan.
Dahlem will be the one word that communicates excellent environmental education, brilliant nature center experiences, skilled land conservancy leadership, and sustainable ecology farm growth.
- Promoting the concept that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner
- Encouraging learning through hands-on and field experiences
- Fostering an understanding of the complex interactions of natural populations
- Developing new concepts in environmental education
- Preserving the earth’s diversity
- Providing community leadership on ecological issues
- Teaching stewardship by upholding the highest standards of ethics, honesty, effectiveness and accountability
- Fostering the Conservancy’s mission through a welcoming and friendly atmosphere
As an organization, we strive to educate our community about maintaining a balanced approach to environmental stewardship. We are a resource for improving the environment through science, education, leadership, and conservation. We welcome members of the community to come and experience, study, and enjoy nature. At the Dahlem Center we believe in:
- Providing community leadership on ecological issues.
- Teaching stewardship by example.
- Developing new concepts in environmental education to promote conservation in our natural environment.
- Studying natural populations and fostering understanding of their complex interactions.
- Preserving the Earth’s diversity.
- Promoting the concept that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.
- Learning natural history through hands-on and field experiences.
- Advancing our mission through a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
Staff and Board
- Beckie Shotwell (President)
- John Bacon (President Elect)
- Becky Mehall (Secretary)
- Tom Davey (Treasurer)
- Samuel Barnes (Jackson College Representative)
- Patricia Huebner
- Alex Orr
- Suzanne McCloskey
- Nate Munro
- Maureen Brewster