10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nature attraction will focus on conservation of the Great Lakes
The Detroit Zoological Society has selected Macomb County as the home of the Great Lakes Nature Center, which will focus on the water and wildlife of the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Nature Center will be home to a number of Great Lakes fish, including lake sturgeon and paddle fish – which are now extinct in the Great Lakes – and will focus on conservation efforts for these and other endangered species. It will include habitats for native amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, shorebirds, and birds of prey – many of which will have been rescued and are non-releasable – and will also feature a native butterfly garden.
The Great Lakes Nature Center will provide the community opportunities to become involved in citizen science programs such as FrogWatch. It will also offer programs for learning about the diverse ecosystems that make up the Great Lakes watershed, as well as environmental protection and the economic importance of North America’s freshwater inland seas. It will be the largest nature attraction dedicated entirely to the Great Lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water.
As stewards of the environment, we have a great responsibility to protect the Great Lakes and the wildlife that inhabit them. Macomb County, with 32 miles of coastline along Lake St. Clair and 31 miles on the Clinton River, is the ideal location for a major waterfront nature center devoted to the natural wonders of the Great Lakes.
Construction on the facility, which will be more than 25,000 square feet, is expected to begin next year and cost about $15 million. When the nature center opens, it is estimated to welcome, engage and educate 200,000 visitors annually.
This exciting waterfront nature attraction will offer opportunities for family fun and learning, educational programming and community engagement. In addition to being a beautiful and bountiful resource for tourism and recreation in Macomb County, the Great Lakes serve as a major thoroughfare for transportation and trade. The Great Lakes Nature Center will play a significant role in educating the community about protecting this valuable natural resource.
The Great Lakes Nature Center will be primarily funded through private and foundation contributions. In addition, efforts are underway to secure public funding from various agencies. To make a donation, contact April Ellison at (248) 336-5728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.