Located on the north side of Ann Arbor, tucked away between area neighborhoods and schools, is Leslie Science & Nature Center (LSNC) — 50 acres of forest, pond, prairie, and fields ready for guests to explore. For 30 years, LSNC has been fulfilling its mission as an educational and inspirational resource for children and adults to discover, understand, and respect the natural environment. Combined with its natural trails, amazing critter house, outdoor raptor enclosures, and free admission — LSNC is a great destination for families!
The most beloved attraction is definitely the outdoor raptor enclosures. At any time, visitors may observe non-releasable wild birds including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, various owls, and more. Many of these winged creatures are trained as avian ambassadors and participate in demonstrations and events at LSNC or out in the community.
The Critter House gives guests an up-close view at some of nature’s smaller creatures such as frogs, turtles, snakes and more. Many of these adorable and unusual animals are often used in educational programs as well, such as during the monthly series, “Critters Up Close” hosted by the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. The Critter House is currently open on Sundays from 12-3 and often rotates which creatures are in the exhibit room.
The Black Pond Woods Park is a great place to observe a number of land formations, including a vernal pool and the Black Pond (the forest’s namesake). The trail, consisting of a one-mile loop, features gentle slopes which can be slippery if the soil is damp or snowy, so shoes with good traction are recommended. In addition to the abundant natural features, there are three official geocaches within the area ready to be discovered!