The Detroit Zoological Society announced Tuesday that waterfront locations are being considered in Macomb County along Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River for a new Great Lakes Nature Center.
The center will be focus on the water and wildlife of the Great Lakes, including fish, habitats for "native amphibians, reptiles, turtles, small mammals, shorebirds and birds of prey", and a butterfly garden.
Site selection will be announced in the spring. The facility is expected to begin construction this year and will be more than 20,000 square feet at an estimated cost of at least $10 million. The Detroit Zoological Society estimates 150,000 to 200,000 visitors annually to the Great Lakes Nature Center.
The center will provide programming that focuses on "education, conservation, science and animal welfare as well as the environmental protection and economic importance of North America’s freshwater inland seas."
“We are thrilled to be designated as the future home of this exciting waterfront nature attraction, which will provide a unique gathering place in Macomb County for family fun and learning, educational programming and community engagement,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
The Center will be partially powered by solar and hydro energy, while also incorporating eco-friendly policies such as “permeable pavement parking, rain gardens, and sustainable materials”. It will be funded through private and foundation contributions, with efforts to secure public funding.