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August 07, 2019
A grant from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network helped Fund this Outdoor Education Partnership.
MIDLAND, MI – [August 7, 2019] – Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) received $24,800 from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN). These funds will support the cooperative work of CNC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to restore wetland, grassland and pollinator habitat as outdoor classrooms on elementary, middle and high school properties throughout the 22 county Saginaw Bay Watershed. Habitats will be restored through the USFWS’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, with financial assistance from Ducks Unlimited. CNC will lead the curriculum and program development for each site.
In partnership with Saginaw Bay WIN, CNC, Ducks Unlimited and the USFWS will be able to provide funds and technical assistance to develop small outdoor education areas that contain native wetland and grassland habitats for use by teachers and students throughout the year. Each school will receive a curriculum guide and supplies for the students to use when studying the habitats, as well professional development for teachers using the sites.
Dennis Pilaske, CNC Executive Director said, “This program provides the opportunity for schools to offer high quality lessons focused on our local ecosystems at the doorstep of their schools, while providing important habitat for pollinators and local wildlife. This partnership program will help science and every other subject come alive just outside the students’ classroom doors through authentic hands-on learning.”
This project has been made possible by a grant from the Saginaw Bay WIN, which focuses on opportunities to better link the economic, social and environmental well-being of Saginaw Bay communities in order to sustain and improve the region’s quality of life.
Twelve area foundations and corporations work together as a Network to support WIN projects. This Funders Network includes: Bay Area Community Foundation, Consumers Energy Foundation, Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, Midland Area Community Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The S.C. Johnson Fund, the Cook Family Foundation, the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Saginaw Bay Foundation.
This outdoor education partnership seeks to develop five to 10 outdoor classrooms over the next two years, with an estimated 3,000 students using these restored habitats each year. To learn more or fill out an application for your school, please contact
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Chippewa Nature Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect all people with nature through educational, recreational and cultural experiences. Enjoy free admission to 19 miles of trails from dawn-to-dark, 365 days a year. The Visitor Center, located at 400 S Badour Rd, is open 8 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday and 12-5 pm Sunday and select holidays. Learn more at
Jenn Kirts, CNC Director of Programs