So sorry, this event has filled!

Please email us at if you would like to be put on a waiting list — let us know who you are and how we may best contact you if we get a cancellation. Be sure to put “Water to Woods Waiting List” in the subject line. Openings will fill on a first come/first served basis.

Or come to the Portman Nature Preserve Sneak Peek at 10 am and go birding on your own!

This special guided bird walk kicks off the Portman Sneak Peek event, which begins immediately afterward at 10 am. This will be the first public event held at Portman Nature Preserve and we hope that you will be able to spend the day exploring the trails, learning about our habitat and infratructure improvement plans, and — of course — looking for birds! Follow this link to find out more about this exciting unveiling event.

Portman Nature Preserve boasts 188 acres of high-quality prairie fen, wetland, savanna and woodland habitats, and is blessed with water from three lakes, a creek, and hundreds of springs. With all of this diversity, expect a late-season bird walk that features the aerial acrobatics of swallows, the prehistoric rattling calls of kingfishers, and the happy treetop music made by tanagers and vireos. SWMLC’s Stewardship Specialist, Mitch Lettow, will lead the tour, along with members of Audubon Society of Kalamazoo.

Saturday, May 20, 9 am
WHERE:  Portman Nature Preserve, on the borders of Almena and Antwerp Twps., Van Buren Co.
From Mattawan: Travel one and a half miles west of Mattawan on Red Arrow Highway, turn north onto 27th Street.
(Watch for Owsiany’s produce stand on the NE corner as a landmark.)
• Go about 1/2 mile and turn at the first left, 49th Avenue.
• Go 3/4 mile to 28534 49th Ave. The preserve entrance is on the north side of the road.
RSVP: Even though this is a free event, RSVPs are always nice. Please give us a call at 269-324-1600 or shoot us an email to to let us know you’re coming. Please be sure to mention which event you are planning to attend. Thank you!

Directions to Portman Nature Preserve
(click on the map for a printable PDF version)

• From I-94 take the Mattawan Exit (# 66) and head north (right) from the traffic circle onto Main Street. Head north for 1 mile to reach Red Arrow Highway, then turn left (west).
• Go west for 1.5 miles, then turn right (north) onto 27th Street (look for Owsiany Farm Stand on the corner).
• Continue traveling north for 0.75 mile, then turn left (west) onto 49th Avenue.
• Go about 0.75 mile to the preserve entrance on the right/north side of the road (just west of the old white farm house at #28534).

Please remember that the Portman Nature Preserve is not yet open to the public, except during special events such as this one or by special invitation — so it will not be open on a daily basis during the summer. We anticipate a grand opening in the fall. Thank you for your cooperation!