Detroit Zoo announces new Great Lakes Nature Center in Macomb County

Exact location in Macomb County to be announced in spring

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A new Great Lakes Nature Center will be constructed in Macomb County, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) announced Tuesday. 

The center will focus on the water and wildlife of the Great Lakes. An exact location in Macomb County has not been determined, but the society said a "number of waterfront locations" are being considered. The site selection is expected to be announced in spring 2018. 

The $10 million facility will be more than 20,000 square feet. Construction is expected to begin in 2018. 

"When it opens by the end of 2019, the Great Lakes Nature Center is estimated to welcome, engage and educate 150,000 to 200,000 visitors annually," a statement from the DZS reads. 

The nature center will be home to a number of Great Lakes fish including lake sturgeon and paddlefish, which are now extinct in the Great Lakes. The center will focus on conservation efforts and other endangered species. It will have habitats for native amphibians, reptiles, turtles, small mammals, shorebirds and birds of prey. Many of those birds of prey will have been rescued and non-releasable, the DZS said, such as sandhill canes. 

There also will be a native butterfly garden at the nature center. 

The DZS said the center will provide the community with the following opportunities: 

  • Birding
  • Astronomy
  • Citizen science

Programs at the center will include:

  • Education
  • Conservation
  • Science and animal welfare
  • Environmental protection
  • Economic importance of North America's freshwater inland seas

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