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April 9, 2010

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April 9, 2010

We actually first visited the Outdoor Discovery Center to find a Geocache. During our 2 1/2 mile walk around the ODC we were so impressed with what had been done with the grounds that we returned later in the summer with our small group from church. This is a wonderful way to get families and children away from video games and TV to learning about nature and get some exercise at the same time. We recommend this place to all our friends. Keep up the good work!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

walking around their grounds.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 9, 2010

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April 9, 2010

I'm a college professor who loves to teach ecology, behavior and zoology outdoors, but it's a pretty tall order to come up with a great place to teach outdoors about Animal Behavior in the middle of winter in lake-effect influenced west Michigan. But because of a recent partnership formed between ODC-Greenway and Hope College (where I work), I decided to try to make use of their field station and outdoor resources for my Animal Behavior class this winter. It turned out to be the best winter animal behavior ivnestigations we EVER had in my 23 years of teaching experience here. The field station made the perfect "home base" to construct materials, convene and brief the class, warm up, store things, and even watch wildlife from inside when the weather was bad. From the home base, we were able to embark out in all directions (small groups of college students having been assigned different study areas in most cases) to set up experiments, observe wildlife, and learn how to collect data. We completed two long-term experiments that were extremely data-rich and gave my students great challenges in both animal behavior interpretatino and in data analysis. Plus we came out for several one-time events, such as an "Owling" night in late January hosted by Jamie Krupka. Because of ODCs hospitality and open-ness in letting us use all of their facilities as much as we wanted, my students were able to enjoy a much richer educational experience with real wildlife in real settings than ever before in a winter semester.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

outdoor education.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Introduce more educators to the great opportunities here and offer assistance for educators of all levels (K through college) to learn more about how to use these great resources.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their willingness to let their collaborators try new ideas, new programs, and new ways of teaching students. They want to BE "outside the box" not just think it :)

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Incredibly helpful!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide transportation for every child in west Michigan to have a terrific field experience as a part of their education. They could also protect more land to do the same thing (educate citizens) about other habitats and ecosystems in this area.

Ways to make it better...

It honestly couldn't have been better. I have taught this class 12 times and this was the best winter version EVER, thanks to the resources I had at ODC.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Reluctance of K-college people to venture themselves and their classes outside, a little off the beaten path.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I will definitely be back to teach more of my courses here!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 8, 2010

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April 8, 2010

I am surprised that more people haven't found this gem. I have been to many of their "Bird of Prey Days" events, photography classes, and herb walks. All of the volunteers are open, easy to approach, well informed, and fun. To unwind I often simply walk the park for exercise and to enjoy the Raptor Center on my way home from a stressful day. They obviously take very good care of their birds. The trails aren't always perfectly groomed, but weather is often a culprit. I love the idea of the "No child left inside" program, and am impressed at how many school children they teach each year.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The Raptor Center.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Well informed, humble, easy to approach.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the "No child left inside" program and triple it's raptor center to take in many more injured birds that don't currently have a good home.

Ways to make it better...

they could keep up on the grooming of the trails, especially after storms.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of marketing. I meet very many people in the area who have never heard of the ODC. Some have heard their children talk about it. Advertise!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Trim trails, weed the gardens, help with events, assemble newsletters and mailings. Volunteer