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A group of visionaries, motivated by their own children and a collective enthusiasm for play-based education, came together to imagine a space for kids, families, and schools that is FUN and educational.

These individuals visited countless museums, surveyed hundreds of people, researched regions similar to the Central Michigan area, joined the Association of Children’s Museums, and consulted with local educators. Being convinced that this was the right thing to do for our Mid-Michigan region, they began their quest to open a children’s museum with a 6-county regional focus that will inspire children and families.

Upon reaching 501(c)3 nonprofit status in 2009, the ranks grew with hundreds of interested people donating dollars and time. We have a working Board of Directors, a broad-base of donors, and have worked tirelessly to provide fun, hands-on activities for children at community events and in schools and libraries.

The Discovery Museum is located on a 2.4 acre parcel near Morey Courts and the Isabella County Events (ICE) Arena in a 12,000 sq.ft. facility.  The environment celebrates child-centric, fun activities and includes a large greenhouse where families can congregate and be surrounded by the natural world, even when it’s snowing outside!

It has become a place for gathering, for growing, and for celebrating the important work that play provides for children.

Our 2015 Annual Report and Cultural Data Project Fund Report (CDP Report) are available below.

Annual Report 2015

Annual Report 2016





Liz Conway, Executive Director

With nearly fifteen years of nonprofit experience, Liz Conway has developed a sharp eye for nonprofit programming, fund development, communications and strategic planning. Liz joined the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum as the Executive Director in September 2016. Previously she served as the Development Coordinator for the museum.  Liz also worked as the Executive Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and as the Development Director at the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven, Connecticut. Liz’s passion for public service stemmed from her service as an AmeriCorps volunteer, where she helped students develop entrepreneurial programs. Liz holds a Bachelors degree in Management and a Masters of Public Administration from Northern Michigan University.

Lisa Phelps, Operations and Finance Director

Lisa Phelps is a 2000 graduate of Central Michigan University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She worked in the Retail industry for 10 years before transitioning to the non-profit sector in November 2012 when she accepted a position at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. Lisa has been employed in several capacities at MPDM, including Guest Services, Office Manager, Assistant Director and recently was promoted to Operations and Finance Director. Lisa was a recipient of the 2016 Live United Award for making an impact on and inspiring hope in her community. She also received the Jack Rouse Scholarship to attend the 2016 Association of Children’s Museums Interactivity in Stamford, Connecticut. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, volunteering and attending charity events. She resides in Shepherd, Michigan with her husband and two daughters.

Alexis Straub, Event and Marketing Director

Alexis is the newest member of the Discovery Museum team.  In August, Alexis will be graduating with her Bachelors Degree in Recreation and Event Management from Central Michigan University. Alexis is currently and intern at Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreation where she has made strong connections with community members and has fallen in love with the City of Mt. Pleasant. Her latest project was helping to build Timber Town 2.0 in Island Park!  Alexis is passionate about social change, equity for all, and inspiring today’s youth to becoming tomorrow’s impassioned leaders.  Alexis is excited to start her professional career at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum! She cannot wait for the new adventures ahead!