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The Howell Nature Center, through mutual love and respect, teaches people to be faithful caretakers of one another and the world around us. With over 225 acres to wander during your stay and over 70 animal ambassadors to get to know, it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing weekend focusing on your health and wellness.

Our mission is to create an immersive gathering in nature centered on the power of community to heal your mind, body and spirit. Start your day in silent meditation floating on the lake. Learn the gentle healing power of Taichi under the forest canopy. Get a good dose of Vitamin N on our guided herbal nature walk. Return to the rhythm of life during a drum circles around the camp fire.

Lodgings

The Howell Nature Center offers six lodges with bunk bed sleeping quarters. Each lodge offers features, such as fireplaces, kitchens (only one lodge does not have a kitchen for public use), and different views of our property. Your meals will be included however feel free to bring non-perishable snacks. Lodges also have air conditioning, heat, and are carpeted. Indoor restrooms and shower facilities are standard. Of course you may decide to wake up in the morning with a dip in the lake! Please bring your own linens and towels. Lights out at 10 pm so you don’t disturb your roommates who may wish to go to sleep early. We didn’t even ask if they have wifi because we hope you will unplug for the weekend!

Wild Wonders Wildlife Park

Since 1982, the Howell Nature Center is home to Michigan’s largest wildlife rehabilitation clinic – taking in approximately 4,000 wild animals per year from all over Michigan. From orphaned baby squirrels to owls with fractured wings, they strive to provide quality care with the hopes of rehabilitation and release back to the wild. During your retreat visit approximately 70 permanent Michigan native animals in Livingston County’s only teaching zoo, Wild Wonders Wildlife Park, and interpretive Nature Zone. Enjoy self-guided or interpreter-led tours.

 Research shows that interaction with animals may increased levels of Oxytocin, the “trust hormone”, “love hormone”, or “bonding hormone”. In addition there is evidence to suggest that interaction with a friendly animal can decease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and raise levels of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine. Pet ownership has been linked to physical benefits such as reduced risk for heart disease, lower stress levels, fewer doctors visits, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

High Adventure

Everyone experiences fear sometimes. Fear can help keep you safe by alerting you to potentially dangerous situations. However, there are times when fear runs amok and disrupts your daily life. Fortunately, there are things you can do to address your fears and minimize the impact it has on you. Meet us high about the trees for a discussion on Overcoming Fear with Kellie Pardi before you ascend into the tress for some vertical thrills!

Explore new heights and over come your fear, as you navigate our high ropes courses, ascend the tallest outdoor climbing tower in Michigan, or fly through the sky on a 500-foot zip line! Or you can be sensible and keep your feet firmly on the ground… after all, there is a difference between fear and crazy!

 
 

A taste of nature

Your retreat will include 4 mouth watering meals that your body will thank you for!

Breakfast
Fresh fruit, gluten free oatmeal or quinoa (plant milk) toppings to add: chopped nuts, honey, coconut flakes, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, onion, peppers, plain scrambled eggs (plant milk) avocado slices
Lunch
Fresh fruit, cold summer gazpacho soup, black bean quinoa, corn, cherry tomato, cilantro salad (feta cheese optional on side) watermelon cubes, mint, feta stackers mini turkey sandwiches with good whole grain and/or gluten free bread (maybe some veggie sandwiches as well)
Dinner
Build your own Mediterranean bowls: grilled/baked chicken with lemon slices/olives dish brown rice or couscous toppings: chickpeas (vegan/vegetarian) cucumber, tomato, green leaf veggies, banana peppers, parsley, tzatziki sauce using Greek yogurt or tahini sauce dessert: baklava
Breakfast
Fresh fruit, whole grain toast and gluten free toast toppings: avocado slices, cucumber slices, tomato slices, radish slices, salt, pepper, red chili flakes nut butter, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, fresh fruit scrambled eggs (with plant milk) hard boiled eggs.

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