BY LAURA CLARK, Staff Writer
Spring is just around the corner, and the Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC) at UM-Dearborn is ready with some fun activities.
The EIC, which opened in May 2001, is home to a 300-acre interactive environmental study area, which includes many exhibits and hands-on educational opportunities. These opportunities include movies and viewings of outdoor plants and wildlife, and they are not only open to University students, but also to school groups and the public.
The center also houses the Rouge River Bird Observatory, established in 1992, which is the longest running full time location for urban bird research in North America. The EIC is adjacent to the Henry Ford Estate and is surrounded by many natural habitats including an 8-acre lake, the Rouge River, meadows, and a beech-maple forest.
The Environmental Interpretive Center’s primary goals are to encourage the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems and promote field-related environmental research in southeastern Michigan. Their goal is also to provide a hands-on educational experience for visitors. At the EIC, a visitor can view the center’s half-acre mushroom garden, one-acre community organic garden, two-half acre rain gardens, and wildlife observation room.
A visitor can learn about impacts of the Rouge River Watershed in the informational films, “Welcome to the Watershed,” “Repair and Rebound,” and “Trip of a Drip” in the three-screen surround sound auditorium, and also learn about the impact of rivers through the “Measure of a River” exhibit. The EIC also has nearly three miles of nature trails for hiking.
Join the EIC for their upcoming spring programs in March, April, and May, as they host “The Sugary Smell of Spring,” on March 3rd, a nature walk where you’ll learn about sap being boiled down into maple syrup. Also, on April 21st, join them for “Pancakes for the Planet,” a special pancake breakfast and fundraising event outside University Center to support children’s outdoor environmental education.
On May 5th, don’t forget to attend “Cinco de Mayo Birds,” a celebration and observation of the arrival of migratory birds. Information on these and other exciting EIC events for the upcoming spring months can be found at http://www.umd.umich.edu/eic. Visiting the EIC is a great opportunity to view plants and animals and learn about nature.
The Environmental Interpretive Center is located on the campus of UM-D on the corner of Fairlane Drive and Monteith Boulevard. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM.