Questions about Visiting DeVries Nature Conservancy
Do you charge for admission?
We do not! Our grounds and trails are provided to the public for free. This is not an easy thing to do, so we strongly encourage regular visitors to help us with maintenance and upkeep by becoming members. You can become a member online right here.
Do you allow dogs?
We do! DeVries is dog-friendly place, and our trails are great for walking dogs of all shapes and sizes. We even allow dogs in the Education Center! If you plan to bring your dog, be sure to follow our two rules: all dogs must be on leashes (six feet or shorter), and all owners must pick up after their dogs–leave no trace. We provide biodegradable bags and receptacles for your convenience.
Questions about wild animals
Do you accept injured wild animals?
We do not. We lack the resources and facilities to offer this service. The work of wildlife rehabilitation is closely regulated by both state and federal law, and rehabilitators must be trained and hold various licenses and permits to practice. This work is also very costly, requiring extensive facilities and a budget that can provide for supplies and medical bills.
If you have found an injured wild animal, check the Michigan DNR's directory of licensed rehabilitators to find a licensed rehabilitator equipped for that particular species. For birds of prey, we recommend that you get in touch with Joe Rogers of Shepherd, MI, who hosts our annual Birds of Prey demonstrations. He works for the Wildlife Recovery Association and has years of experience rehabilitating these animals. His number is (989) 772 1538. Be sure to contact a rehabilitator BEFORE handling or relocating the injured animal, as it is illegal to do this without permission. If you cannot find a suitable rehabilitator, contact your local Animal Control authority.
Please do not attempt to rehabilitate an injured animal on your own. Not only is it against the law, but it can bring further harm to the animal and to you as well. State and federal regulations were established to protect wildlife, and the licensing process is meant to ensure that rehabilitators have the proper training and educational background to do this difficult work.
Do you accept baby wild animals?
We do not, for many of the reasons above. Baby wild animals are generally even more challenging to care for than injured animals, as they usually require round-the-clock attention. Again, please do not attempt to raise a baby animal on your own. Despite appearances, baby animals rarely need help. Babies that have actually been rejected by their parent are usually infested with parasites or otherwise unviable.
For more information on what to do when you encounter a baby animal, check the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website. Also, the Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids has some great resources available on their website explaining what to do for some commonly-encountered species.