The Hartley Outdoor Education Center was built to help students "climb to the top" in education through outdoor, hands-on learning programs. Through the years, we've accumulated a vast variety of services to offer Saginaw, Michigan school districts including camps, tours, traveling naturalists (special programs brought to you), farms, mini-trips (quick & unique field trips) and even virtual field trips. Check the map provided below for directions.
We believe it is our mission to educate, lead and serve youth and adults through a positive learning environment providing hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
Lessons learned in the real world are frequently more vivid and more memorable than those from a book or a blackboard. Hartley Outdoor Education Center, owned and operated by the Saginaw Intermediate School District , was established to provide students firsthand experience in the world out-of-doors. Emphasis is placed on environmental and outdoor education, but academic knowledge and social skills in a variety of other areas are also emphasized.
Otilia Frish, County Superintendent of Schools talked Peter Hartley into giving/selling the original 80 acres of land to the students of Saginaw County. Thus began "Hartley Nature Camp". The Hartley Nature Camp Corporation, began a summer nature camp about 1948, which continued until the camp was acquired by the Saginaw Intermediate School District late in 1969. The Hartley Outdoor Education Center opened in 1975.
Currently Hartley is over three times its original size, totaling 300 acres of natural habitat, including hardwood forest, wetlands, meadow, ponds and a creek. The Hartley site is also home to the Coal Mine No. 8 Historical Site & Museum, Schroeder Log Cabin, Fowler One-room School , Murphy Farmhouse & Henige Log Cabin, and Farm Learning Center .