TRENTON, Mich. (AP) – A new dock for use by school groups and a public fishing pier are envisioned as part of a hub for environmental education and outdoor recreation at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, organizers announced Monday.
The dock and pier are part of a $2.8 million project at the Refuge Gateway, which is located next to the refuge's 410-acre Humbug Marsh unit. Canadian railroad operator CN is contributing $200,000 for construction of the dock and pier at the former industrial site in the Detroit suburb of Trenton.
"CN is honored to be part of this ... project that showcases sustainable redevelopment of a brownfield site," John Orr, vice president and chief safety and sustainability officer of CN, said in a statement.
o far, $1.8 million has been raised for the project. Organizers hope to raise $1 million more by year's end so construction may begin in 2013.
The dock will be for the Michigan Sea Grant's Great Lakes school ship that will host children from Detroit-area schools on the Detroit River and western Lake Erie. The ship is expected to use the Detroit River and waters of the wildlife refuge as a "living laboratory," offering day trips for students.
The Wayne County-owned Refuge Gateway site also will house a visitor center. The property where the center is planned was the site of an auto parts making plant for more than four decades starting in the 1940s. It was purchased in 2002 by the county for use linked to the wildlife refuge.
The refuge itself includes more than 5,700 acres along 48 miles of the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie.
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