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

Advanced Camp - Bogue Banks and Croatan National Forest - ages 12-16
Monday-Friday
June 16, 2014 - June 20, 2014
Fee:$275.00 per person - members; $300.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 06/12/14
Advanced campers will travel to Bogue Banks and set up a base camp at Cedar Island Campground in Croatan National Forest. Over five days, advanced campers will hike and explore Long Leaf Pine communities and look for Venus Flytraps and other unique plants and animals; investigate beach, dune and maritime forest communities on Bear Island; paddle through bottomland hardwood forests and look for fossils on the White Oak River; wade into a salt marsh to catch clams, scallops and fish; plus side trips to local environmental education centers, museums and the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The base camp has a rustic but comfortable bath house with hot showers and private stalls. One of the campsites will serve as the community gather site where campers help prepare and serve meals and relax around the campfire circle. All meals, transportation, camping, entrance fees, safety and study equipment, professional guides and supervision are provided.

 

Herpetology Camp - ages 8-12
Monday & Tuesday (Session 1); Thursday & Friday (Session 2)
June 30, 2014 - July 1, 2014
July 31, 2014 - August 1, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$60.00 per person - members; $95.00 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
Tuesday
June 24, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30.00 per person - members; $40.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 6/17/14
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
June 23, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30.00 per person - members; $40.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 6/16/14
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 Herpetology Camp - ages 6-8
Friday
June 27, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30.00 per person - members; $40.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 6/20/14
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
Thursday
June 26, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$30.00 per person - members; $40.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 6/19/14
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 Jocassee Kayak Ecotour - ages 18+
Thursday-Sunday
May 15, 2014 - May 18, 2014
8a.m. Thursday - 6p.m. Sunday  Fee:$165.00 per person - members; $200.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 5/12/14
Kayak the clear lake water of Lake Jocassee, SC where waterfalls plunge into this beautiful mountain lake. Observe bald eagles and other wildlife while you paddle, enjoy natural history hikes and a night paddle. Camping along the shoreline of Lake Jocassee helps make this trip a memorable experience.

 

Poisonous Plants of the Piedmont and their usefulness
Saturday
April 26, 2014
10a.m.-12p.m.  Learn about common poisonous plants, e.g. poison ivy, milkweed, stinging nettle, etc, that are native to the Piedmont. Participants will learn to identify them and discuss their natural history, biology, and importance in our ecosystem. We will also discuss first-aid measures in case of accidental contact or ingestion.

 

Summer Nature Adventure Camp - ages 7-12
Monday-Friday
July 7, 2014 - July 11, 2014
July 14, 2014 - July 18, 2014
July 21, 2014 - July 25, 2014
August 4, 2014 - August 8, 2014
August 11, 2014 - August 15, 2014
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$145.00 per person - members; $180.00 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.

 

Wildflowers and Watercolors - ages 10+ with a paying adult
Friday & Saturday
May 9, 2014
May 10, 2014
Friday, 6-8p.m.; Saturday, 8a.m.-12p.m.  Fee:$25.00 per person - members; $35.00 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 5/7/14
We invite you to discover the wonders of wildflowers from both a naturalist's and an artist's point of view. On Friday participants will meet in the classroom for an introduction to watercolors lesson and to practice eight painting techniques. On Saturday, participants will learn the natural and cultural history of more than a dozen species of wildflowers while walking the trails with staff naturalists. We round out the workshop at "natural garden" sites on the trails that have been selected as subject areas for participants to apply their new watercolor skills. Participants will receive a list of supplies to bring or may purchase a kit assembled by the presenters ($20) with all the paints, brushes and other tools used in the workshop. Couples share a kit.

 

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

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