A group of volunteers collected sap from sugar maple trees, then turned it into maple syrup and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream.
Others gave local students an up close and personal look at turtles to help expand the kids’ knowledge of reptiles.
And some built an urban mushroom garden to encourage sustainable living.
Consider it another day at the office for those who work at UM-Dearborn’s Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC).
Those programs will continue as the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) recently approved the center’s Corporate Lands for Learning recertification. The center, which promotes environmental health and sustainability through education and research with local schools and community organizations, now is certified to carry out its mission for another three years.
“We are very proud to be recognized for the successes of our ongoing education and conservation programs with the community,” Susko said.
Recertification is slated again for 2014. But next time around, Susko has a good model to work from. WHC President Robert commended the center for its site-based education programs, which were listed in the application.
“Your recertification application materials demonstrate that the employees at University of Michigan-Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center remain committed to providing exemplary conservation education experiences for your community,” Johnson wrote in a letter to Susko.
Johnson also applauded the center’s outreach efforts with local schools and conservation organizations.
“Corporate education teams can help to combat the growing ‘extinction of experience’ of today’s youth by reconnecting them to the wonders of nature through hands-on programs,” he wrote.
But aside from recertification, Susko said the application process reaffirmed the University’s commitment to sustainability.
“Environmental sustainability is the thread that connects all of our educational programming at the center,” he said. “We do this because we feel it’s important and to demonstrate to our students and staff, and to the public at large, that our campus takes sustainability very seriously.”
The center, which opened in 2001, educates residents throughout southeast Michigan on environmental issues, namely those related to urban areas. Since 2001, the center has provided environmental interpretation and education to more than 140,000 school children and community visitors.
For more information on the EIC, click here.