|After three years of planning, ISEA purchased the land and buildings for the new Inland Seas Education Center in January 2002. We moved into the renovated main building in November 2003. |
Gifts and pledges totaling $760,000 together with over $100,000 in volunteer labor were used to renovate this 1914 structure. An initial no-interest loan from an ISEA member secured the property and a bridge loan from the Herrington-Fitch Foundation and Leslie Lee (Lee Endowment for Global Freshwater funds) enabled ISEA to concentrate on fund raising and program development. This spacious, modern facility now provides a permanent home for ISEA administration and education programs.
The "Our Inland Seas" mural is the sweeping centerpiece of the public exhibition area. The giant Great Lakes watershed mural was created by nationally recognized Traverse City artist, Glenn Wolff.
Mr. Wolff and the ISEA educational staff developed the content of "Our Inland Seas" cooperatively. Ten months in development and production, the mural measures approximately thirty by thirty feet and is the largest, most complex commission ever undertaken by the artists. Funds to create "Our Inland Seas" were provided by National City Bank of Michigan and Illinois.
The mural incorporates elements of the history, ecology, and economics of the Great Lakes. In addition to being a wonderful work of art, "Our Inland Seas" is an effective teaching tool, leading to thoughtful discussion of the many aspects of life in the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes Invaders Exhibits greet visitors at the Education Center: Great Lakes Invaders (interactive map), Sea Lamprey (with live specimens), Zebra and Quagga Mussels (featuring the Zebra Bike and touch tank), Purple Loosestrife (with live wetland aquaria and interactive nature sounds), Common Reed (with specimens for identification), Spiny Water Flea (with micro-video system to view zooplankton), and Asian Carp. These exhibits give the visitor an overview of the invasive species problems facing the Great Lakes.
Exhibit development and content was the work of Laura Quackenbush of the Leelanau Historical Museum, Larry Hutchinson Studios, Colleen Masterson, Thomas Kelly, Kim Biocchi, Ken Cerny, Peg Comfort, Randy Hill, Jessica Lagalo, Thomas Skinner, Pete Munoz of SEEDS, Inc. and Saxon Design.
Construction of the exhibits was done by Remy Champt, Logan Hardie, Pete Munuz, Seeco Contracting Corporation, The Plastic Center, Image Arts, Brian Cressman Science Illustration, Young Electric, Strata Design, Carrol Nichols, Don Blumenschine, Bill Klein, Jerry Renard, and Laura Quackenbush.
Live specimens were contributed by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and SEEDS.
Underwriters for the exhibit are the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, David and Faye Mathia of DSI, Inc., the Oleson Foundation, the Feather Foundation, National City Bank, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, and the children of Andrew and Irene Balas.
Don't miss the underwater video system Beneath the Bay. A camera mounted underneath ISEA's dock watches fish and diving birds as they explore the area underneath the schooner Inland Seas. Keep an eye out for the video to be streamed lived to this website soon! The underwater camera system was designed and installed by Greg Lashbrook and Kathy Johnson.
The Teacher Resource Center (on the lower level) offers free Great Lakes materials to educators and the public. Our Great Lakes research library provides a meeting space for small groups and the exhibit hall can accommodate larger groups. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided funds for the Teacher Resource Center.
The ISEA Boat Shop, storerooms, classroom, and the Garber Biological Laboratory occupy the ground floor. The David Garber Fund, established by Dr. Larry and Martha Garber provided the funds to completely renovate and equip the new biological laboratory, which is used for shore-based programs as well as Schoolship Programs when the ship can not sail due to weather.
Students and volunteers use the Boat Shop to build Cedar-strip canoes and sailing prams. One canoe requires about 120 hours of work to complete. Click here to learn more about ISEA's Boat Shop.
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