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About Us: Flat Iron Lake Preserve

Flat Iron Lake Nature Preserve is a newly-formed nature preserve in Kent County’s Oakfield Township, approximately 30 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.  The nature preserve was the idea of Fritz and Carol Rottman, who owned much of the property surrounding Flat Iron Lake and wished to see the land preserved for green space and scientific study.  The project was completed in Fall 2009 with the donation of the final pieces of property, and the creation of an endowment to support the preserve’s long-term maintenance.

This 68 acre preserve includes these features:

  • 25 acre kettle lake,
  • 13 acre deciduous forest with vernal pools,
  • 18 acre created prairie,
  • Lake house used for Calvin College classes, as a research facility, and retreat center.

The Flat Iron Lake Preserve is under the direction of Dr. Randy Van Dragt, Director of the Ecosystem Preserve.

The preserve is not open to the general public, but tour groups can be arranged with advance notice.

Learn More About the Prairie

Find out what it's like to live next to the prairie by reading Carol Rottman's blog and book All Creation Sings.

Fauna & Flora


green frog

butterfly weed



tree frog