Blandford Nature Center is offering free admission for the entire month of  February after the                                                      overwhelmingly positive response received from the community during the two admission free                                                        months last year. This month of free admission from February 1st—February 29th will allow                                                          thousands of people from across West Michigan to explore our trails and grounds again at no cost, in yet another new season. During Admission Free February, visitors of all ages are invited to experience the magic of a West Michigan winter and enjoy complimentary programming at Blandford Nature Center located at 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Blandford's trails and grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk and the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 9 am-5 pm. Visitors will have access to 264 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands, 8 miles of trails including 1 mile of ADA accessible trails, 2 outdoor playscapes, and more—all free of charge. In addition to free access to the trails and grounds, Blandford will be offering a variety of free activities and programs throughout the month. “It can be intimidating to spend time outdoors when the temperatures get cold, but we want to encourage everyone to enjoy what this new season has to offer with our free programs and activities,” said Camilla Voelker, Community Programs Manager at Blandford Nature Center. “We’re excited to launch our first ever Free Snowshoe Fridays and hope to see lots of folks have the opportunity to snowshoe for the very first time.” Weather permitting, Blandford’s Free Snowshoe Fridays will be on February 2nd and 16th between 10am and 4pm. There must be at least four inches of fluffy snow on Blandford’s trails to use snowshoes, and snowshoes will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis. During this time, individuals and families can stop in the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center to check out snowshoes to explore Blandford’s trails. Blandford has snowshoes available for individuals weighing over 40 pounds, but encourages everyone to bring along a sled to tow their little ones. The family fun doesn’t stop with Free Snowshoe Fridays. There are many other opportunities Blandford is offering during Admission Free February to encourage the community to enjoy all that nature has to offer in the winter. Animal-enthusiasts can visit over 30 rehabilitated Wildlife Ambassadors or check out the Blandford Farm animals, and the youngest visitors can attend scheduled Storytime with the Animals programs free of charge. Blandford is also offering free Trail Walking Group programs, where visitors will enjoy a guided hike with a Blandford staff member. Free and paid program opportunities are color-coded                                        and labeled on Blandford’s Community Calendar. The Community Calendar, more information about the                                              trails and grounds, and FAQs can all be found at: Imported Image