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.

Friends of PEC
Trail Maps

School Brochure - Environmental Education Classes and Field Experiences
K-3rd Grades, 3rd-5th Grades, Middle & High School

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

Advanced Nature Camp - Blue Ridge Mountains - ages 13-16
Monday-Friday
June 22, 2015 - June 26, 2015
Fee:$310 per person - members; $350 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 6/17/15
Reach new heights on a 5-day excursion to Blowing Rock and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Day trips to nearby field study sites including Linville Caverns and Falls, Mount Mitchell, and Grandfather Mountain introduce campers to unique ecosystems, fantastic geologic formations, and rare and endangered wildlife. Other activities during the experience include a canoe trip on the New River, exploring the Bon Ami mining museum and panning for minerals and gems.

 

Following Water: A Program for the NC Science Festival
Saturday
April 18, 2015
1:30-4p.m.  Deadline for enrollment: 4/16/15
Participate in this year's NC Science Festival at Piedmont Environmental Center! After receiving instructions and safety procedures, you will paddle a canoe along the shoreline of High Point City Lake in search of wildlife, while learning about watersheds, water quality concerns, and the history and importance of High Point City Lake. Old mill sites, which were important in the early economy of the NC Piedmont, Bald Eagles and Ospreys, Great Blue Herons, and beaver lodges up close are just a few treats in store for you.

 

Herpetology Camp - ages 8-12
Monday & Tuesday (Session 1); Thursday & Friday (Session 2)
June 29, 2015 - June 30, 2015
August 17, 2015 - August 18, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$60 per person - members; $95 per person - non-members (per session)
Deadline for enrollment: One week prior to session start date
Campers spend two days studying snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders under the supervision of professional Naturalists. Using a variety of survey and observation techniques, campers will explore all the "Herp" habitats at PEC and practice safe ways to study reptiles and amphibians.

 

Junior Bird Camp - ages 6-8
Thursday
July 9, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30 per person - members; $40 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 7/3/15
Binoculars in hand, campers explore 5 habitats and learn to identify birds and come to understand their life cycle and behaviors. Participants construct "nests" along the trail in habitat locations of their choice as the highlight of the day.

 

Junior Bug Camp - ages 6-8
Monday
July 6, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30 per person - members; $40 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 7/3/15
Campers use insect collecting nets and hand lenses to capture and study live insects and other arthropods. Using live bugs they have collected, participants enter events in the "Bug Olympics" as the highlight of the day.

 

Junior Fish Camp - ages 6-8
Wednesday
July 8, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30 per person - members; $40 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 7/3/15
Campers meet at High Point City Lake Park for a full day of fishing and water studies. Three fishing periods at different locations along the shore gives participants the opportunity to catch fish using several fishing methods, and learn more about fish identification and aquatic habits in our area.

 

Junior Herpetology Camp - ages 6-8
Friday
July 10, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30 per person - members; $40 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 7/3/15
Campers will spend the day studying snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders under the supervision of professional Naturalists. Using a variety of survey and observation techniques, campers will explore 6 herp habitats at PEC and practice safe ways to study reptiles and amphibians. Catching tadpoles at the pond is every camper's definition of a good time and the highlight of the day!

 

Junior Rock Camp - ages 6-8
Tuesday
July 7, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30 per person - members; $40 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 7/3/15
Campers will identify rocks and minerals by conducting mini-lab experiments and tests. Campers also learn how fossils form and make a small collection to take home.

 

Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River: A Kayak Camping Adventure - ages 18+
Thursday-Sunday
May 14, 2015 - May 17, 2015
Fee:$185 per person - members; $200 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 5/11/15
Among only a few natural lakes in North Carolina, Lake Phelps supports one of the last remaining stands of old-growth Atlantic White Cedar in NC, against a backdrop of large Bald Cypress trees draped in Spanish Moss. A vast array of wildflowers, Avians including songbirds, Bald Eagles, the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and reptiles and amphibians call this habitat home. Hike the trails and kayak the black water as you experience this wilderness adventure. Camping includes the use of modern bath house facilities and hot showers. All professional guides, equipment, instruction, interpretive services, camping fees and meals are provided. This trip is suitable for the beginner or advanced paddler.

 

Moonlight Kayak Dinner - ages 18+
Saturday
April 11, 2015
4:30-10p.m.  Fee:$45 per person - members; $55 per person - non-members; $85 per couple - members; $105 per couple - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 4/8/15
Enjoy a safe, late afternoon kayak paddle on Belews Lake as your guide introduces you to wildlife along the shoreline, then sit down to an elegant outdoor dining table with fine linens and candelabra. Under the candlelight a full course, delicious meal is served. Then visit a beaver lodge and search the shoreline for nocturnal animals as you paddle your way back under the cover of darkness. All equipment, instruction, guides, evening meal and support services are provided.

 

Summer Nature Adventure Camp - ages 7-12
Monday-Friday
July 13, 2015 - July 17, 2015
July 20, 2015 - July 24, 2015
July 27, 2015 - July 31, 2015
August 3, 2015 - August 7, 2015
August 10, 2015 - August 14, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$145 per person - members; $180 per person - non-members (per session)
Deadline for enrollment: One week prior to session start date
Our camps are specifically designed for children who have a sincere interest in nature and the environment. Camps focus on environmental education and are filled with engaging activities and events that foster an understanding of natural history.

 

Wet and Wild Amphibian Night Walk
Saturday
April 25, 2015
8-9:30p.m.  Investigate three "soggy bottom" habitats to look, listen and feel for frogs, toads and salamanders. Participants will gain a great understanding of the natural links between habitat and organism, and the factors that affect the amphibian population. Between the selected habitats, we will be walking the paved Bicentennial Greenway keeping our eyes and ears open for other wildlife. Rainy or not, here we go!

 

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

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