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 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

Pi Camp - ages 7-12
March 14, 2015
8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.  Fee:$35 per person - members; $55 per person - non-members
To celebrate International Pi Day, children are invited to spend the day with PEC Naturalists for a day of exploring the forest through "Pi" theme activities. Campers practice the fun math of studying nature while using nets to catch small fish, watching woodpeckers and other cavity nesting birds, observing the microscopic features of pines and other non-flowing plants and bake apple and cheery camp pies in the solar oven by a campfire. Campers need to dress for the weather and bring a lunch, 2 snacks and a water bottle.


Waterfowl, Coffee and Croissants - ages 21+
January 31, 2015
7:30a.m.-12p.m.  Fee:$3 per person - members; $5 per person - non-members
Learn about resident and migratory waterfowl that are found in our area in the winter. In addition to permanent residents, colorful and attractive birds such as Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser and Green-winged Teal visit North Carolina. Plenty of man-made lakes and ponds provide an excellent habitat to spend the winter right here in the Piedmont. We will meet at PEC at 7:30a.m. and warm up with coffee and croissants and an introduction to the day's events. Then we will visit different lakes and ponds with spotting scopes and binoculars to sight these unusual and beautiful birds. We will also discuss their natural history, biology and their importance in our ecosystem. We invite beginners as well as experienced birders to participate.


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

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