Southeastern Michigan is situated in an industrial region facing difficult challenges, such as soil and water contamination, air pollution, suburban sprawl and a shrinking inner-city population, all of which have consequences for public health and quality of life. The integrated educational programs and research activities of the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn are focused on raising public awareness of these environmental issues and developing and implementing strategies for creating cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable communities. Maintaining and growing a project of this caliber requires tremendous dedication and help from the southeast Michigan community in the form of volunteers and financial assistance.
Since it first opened its doors in 2001, the Center has succeeded in providing effective and unique environmental study experiences at the University’s unique urban setting.
- The Center provides free K-12 educational programs on the environment for more than 15,000 students each year. Our programs emphasize sustainability and environmental awareness and stewardship.
- It annually hosts 2,000 people for the Rouge River Water Festival, the oldest and largest water festival in southeast Michigan. The Festival introduces school-aged children to the concept of water conservation and stewardship.
- The Center oversees several sustainability initiatives including a Community Organic Garden, a mushroom garden, and two rain gardens that demonstrate and promote what citizens can do in their own backyards to make a difference concerning the environment of their community.
Today’s difficult economic challenges have profoundly increased the demand for access to our free educational programming and sustainable living initiatives. With your interest and support, we can fulfill our pledge to offer environmental interpretation and education to as many students and community visitors as possible. Your gift will make a difference!