Kalamazoo Nature Center

Joan M. Porcaro takes different shots of a fallen tree's roots
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Joan M. Porcaro started taking photos about 30 years ago, around the same time she started her career as an emergency room trauma nurse.

"KALAMAZOO, MI -- Philanthropist Jon Stryker has donated 22 acres along the west fork of Portage Creek in Kalamazoo to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, as well as up to $700,000 to help develop the land as part of a $1.4 million environmental educational project." (MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette)

Kalamazoo bird enthusiast Russ Schipper (left) and John Brenneman (right) of the Kalamazoo Nature Center spot a familiar bird in Kleinstuck Preserve.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bird watching is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States, second only to gardening. In 2011, birders spent $41 billion on trips and equipment, which pumped about $107 billion into the U.S. economy. More than 2,000 of those birders spent time in Michigan.

Kalamazoo Nature Center Stewardship Field Director Ryan Koziatek uses the app to make a report on an invasive tree
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Michigan State University research specialist Amos Ziegler developed the app through a project he created six years ago—the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network. It’s a website where professionals and citizen scientists can share information about invasive plants and animals. 

(C) Estate of Charley Harper 2008

Charley Harper is famous in the art world for his simplistic views of nature. Birds, trees, and plants are depicted with lines, bold colors and carefully arranged, geometric shapes. That simplicity attracted the Kalamazoo Nature Center. It’s brought in an exhibit of Harper’s work to use as a teaching tool.