Get inside this Cessna 337C while learning how the Michigan DNR uses airplanes to detect and fight forest fires and to survey and manage wildlife.

Indoor ‘adventure centre’ promoting Michigan’s great outdoors in downtown Detroit

DETROIT – A touch of “up north” has arrived in downtown Detroit with the completion of the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Outdoor Adventure Center along the city’s east riverfront.

The three-story, 41,000-square-foot indoor facility opens July 20 and features hands-on, interactive exhibits including a 40-foot-tall, man-made tree.

It also is part of a growing state presence in Detroit. The centre is across from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor. The state also manages Detroit’s Belle Isle island park.

“The Outdoor Adventure Center will serve as a gateway to Michigan’s out-of-doors,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “It will provide many unique opportunities to learn about the state’s natural resources, the DNR’s role in managing these resources and the many venues for outdoor recreation.”

Visitors can try off-road vehicle, bicycle, kayak, canoe and fishing boat simulators or an indoor archery range. There also is a life-size beaver lodge and eagle’s nest, a 3,000-gallon freshwater aquarium and a waterfall with a 36-foot drop.

Children will be able to explore a cave and sit in an airplane similar to those used for spotting forest fires.

The facility took nearly three years of planning, renovation and exhibit construction.

“With natural resources playing such a vital role in quality of life, families are encouraged to explore the centre and then head outside to experience our state’s natural resources, including its many outdoor recreational opportunities along the riverfront right in downtown Detroit,” DNR Director Keith Creagh said.

Opening day activities include the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, physical fitness and outdoor games.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for adults 62 and older and $3 for children between 2 and 12. Children younger than 2 are admitted free.


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