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

Summer Camp Registration Form  Includes 1 & 2 day camps and weekly camps
Advanced Summer Camp Application

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

Dan River Canoe Trip - Habitats and History - for families and seniors
Saturday
October 24, 2015
8a.m.-6p.m.  Fee:$50 per person - members; $75 per person - non-members;
Deadline for enrollment: 10/20
Lined by ancient rock formations and giant Sycamore, Sweet Gum and Sugarberry trees, the Dan River meanders in and out of the Piedmont of North Carolina and Virginia for more than 200 miles. With the shoreline in full color display, our paddle begins in Madison, NC and takes up past navigation structures from the early 1800's like the famous Slink Shoals Sluice and wing dams. A sandy beach midway serves as a wonderful place to stop for lunch and enjoy scenery. Following our takeout at Settles Bridge, we will shuttle to a local historic farm to have a cook-out dinner on the porch of the log cabin or in one of the garden picnic sites. Participants need to bring a bag lunch, water bottle and be dressed for the weather. Fee includes canoes and safety gear, drinks, cook-out (meat and veggie options) dinner, professional river guides and naturalists. We can carpool from PEC to Madison and return to PEC around 6p.m.

 

Early Winter Birding and Refreshments - ages 21+
Saturday
November 21, 2015
7-9a.m.  Fee:$3 per person - members; $5 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 11/20
Peek into the amazing world of winter resident bird species that are found in the area during winter. PEC's forests provide excellent habitat to permanent residents as well as winter migrants such as White-throated Sparrows, Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Winter Wrens and Brown Creepers. After the morning refreshments, participants will take a walk on the trails with 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 available for those who don't have them.

 

Halloween Safari - ages 3+
Wednesday (Group Night), Thursday, Friday
October 28, 2015
October 29, 2015
October 30, 2015
7:30-9:30p.m.  Fee:$4 per person, $1 per person - ages 5 & under
Deadline for enrollment: Groups - 10/21
No tricks but plenty of treats 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 for small pre-registered groups of 8-20 (scouts, church groups, etc.) is Wednesday, October 28. No registration is required for family nights, October 29 and 30.

 

Lake Drummond Camping and Kayak Ecotour - ages 18+
Thursday-Sunday
October 1, 2015 - October 4, 2015
8a.m. Thursday - 6p.m. Sunday  Fee:$200 per person - members; $240 per person - non-members
Deadline for enrollment: 9/29
Named for a NC governor, Lake Drummond sits on an upland rise in the middle of the Great Dismal Swamp and rests just inside the Virginia line. Only one of two natural lakes in Virginia, it covers an area of 3,100 acres. Surrounded by extensive swamplands, the lake and adjacent wetland ecosystem support a large assemblage of plants and animals. You will safely explore the lake and swamp ecosystem from your kayak and marvel at the natural beauty and wildlife. Trip is suitable for the beginner or advanced paddler and includes all meals, transportation, power boat support, primitive camping with indoor bathrooms, guides, kayaks and all equipment.

 

Spider Discovery Hike
Saturday
September 19, 2015
8:30-10:30a.m.  Learn about the fascinating lives of these interesting animals. Participants will learn to identify the common spiders of the Piedmont, their biology and habitat. We will also discuss their role as predators in the ecosystem.

 

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

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