Parks & Recreation

Piedmont Environmental Center

1220 Penny Road (get directions)
High Point, NC 27265
(336) 883-8531
(336) 883-8537 (fax)
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From time to time this facility will be closed due to weather, maintenance, or private events.  Other events and programs may be changed or cancelled.  Please click on the "Closings, Cancellations & Changes" tab on the left of this page for more information.

Center hours of operation:
  Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm

Trails hours of operation:  Open 7 days a week from sun up until sun down 

Piedmont Environmental Center provides programs and a place to learn, conserve and enjoy the natural world through hands on experiences emphasizing the interrelated and fragile nature of life. 

In 1972, a group of concerned citizens worked with the City of High Point to secure property PECadjacent to High Point City Lake Park as a plant and animal preserve. Within a short time, a trail system was established and the first environmental education programs in Guilford County were offered at the site.

On the trails....you see this term throughout our class descriptions. PEC's mission is to get students outside. The 11 miles of foot trails and Bicentennial Greenway pass through 376 acres of beautiful hardwood and pine forests and lakeside habitats. There are three primary loop trails used during classes, each about three-quarters of a mile in length.

Design features of the main building include active & passive solar technology, tower ventilation, natural lighting, recycled aluminum roof, recycled PVC carpets, recycled auto glass bathroom tiles, reused bricks and much more. A wrap-around covered deck provides shade for lunch and shelter from rainy weather. Inside you will find a lobby for check-in, maps and information, small exhibits, an auditorium, classroom and restrooms.

The PEC's North Carolina Mapscape Exhibit is a 70' x 30' walk-on topographic relief map Mapscaperepresenting North Carolina and the surrounding states. Mountains, valleys, islands, rivers and other geographic features are carved into the concrete surface allowing visitors and students to see the "big picture" of how these features interrelate and influence human communities. Brass monuments on the Mapscape identify major cities and historical sites.

We offer special field experiences and classes for students from Kindergarten through High School. Teachers can contact the PEC for class details to reserve a date for their students. Maximum number of students at PEC is 75. For groups larger than 75, please look to arrange two days. PEC presents classes rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, staff Naturalists are prepared with alternative class experiences within the curriculum framework and appropriate to the attending grade level. In the case of severe weather alerts or forecasts, a PEC Naturalist will contact the school to discuss options.

In addition to our programs for school groups, PEC offers programs, trips and camps throughout the year for individuals and groups of all ages. Call PEC for more information.

Current Programs

Fall Birding and Breakfast - ages 18+
Saturday
November 22, 2014
7-9a.m.  Fee:$3 per person - members; $5 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 11/21/14
Take a peek into the amazing world of winter resident bird species that are found in our area during winter. PEC's forests provide excellent habitat to permanent residents as well as winter migrants such as white-throated sparrow, golden and ruby-crowned kinglets and winter wren. After morning refreshments, participants will take a walk on the trails with spotting scopes and binoculars to look and listen for several of these resident and migratory bird species. We invite beginners as well as experienced birders to participate. Binoculars will be provided to those who do not have them.

 

Halloween Safari - ages 3+
Wednesday (Group Night), Thursday, Friday
October 29, 2014
October 30, 2014
October 31, 2014
7:30-9:30p.m.  Fee:$4 per person, $1 per person - ages 5 & under
No spooks but plenty of surprises await kids and adults on PEC's trails at night. Meet "animals" who tell amazing things about their lives up close and personal as you make your way through the darkened woods. Snacks and a campfire complete this unusual Halloween education adventure. All participants should bring a flashlight. Safari hikes last about 45 minutes. Group night is Wednesday, groups should register by October 22.

 

Kayak Breakfast on Belews Lake - ages 17+
Saturday
December 13, 2014
January 10, 2015
7:30a.m.-12:30p.m .  Fee:$40 per person - members; $50 per person - non-members; per date
Deadline for enrollment: 3 days prior to date
Belews Lake is a power plant lake where water is used to cool energy-producing turbines. The heated water is returned to the lake and is much warmer than ambient air temperatures, perfect for the winter kayaker. Participants will receive instruction and then paddle 1.5 miles to a hot, shoreline breakfast. Wildlife and water quality issues are discussed around a warm fire. Instruction, guides and all equipment are provided.

 

New Moon Night Walk
Saturday
November 22, 2014
7-8:30p.m.  Fee:$3 per person
Owls calling, beaver swimming in the cove, and deer moving through the leaves are just some of the sounds and sights of the forest trails at night. But the night of a new moon, the darkest night of the month, presents special challenges to native wildlife. Some small animals seem more bold under a moonless sky while others lay more concealed and patient. On this new moon night, you are invited to walk along with a staff Naturalist and explore the nocturnal world of native wildlife.

 

Winter Nature Camp - ages 7-12
Monday & Tuesday
December 22, 2014 - December 23, 2014
December 29, 2014 - December 30, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$60 per person - members; $95 per person - non-members; per 2-day session
Deadline for enrollment: 12/19/14
Don't just sit inside this winter, join us for fun and adventure. Campers become "Junior Resource Managers" of a homeland territory in a land-use game we call "Common Ground." Real life hiking adventures on the trails and supporting activities in the classroom give campers a greater understanding of wildlife and the winter environment.

 

High Point Parks & Recreation Department
136 Northpoint Avenue • High Point, NC 27262 • (336) 883-3469 • Fax - (336) 883-8524

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