Late Fall 2004
Vol. 12 No. 3
"Vision without action is only a dream. Action without vision only passes time. Vision with action can change the world." - Joel Baker

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

How the Nature Area Works with Other Groups

Education Committee

Nature Area Happenings

Garlic Mustard - Another Damaging Exotic

Nature Area Entrance - Native Garden

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

November 6
Annual Meeting
10:00 AM
Centennial Farm
Members & Public

November 13
Work Day
9:00 AM
Nature Area


Education Committee

Landscape for Learning and Environmental Education
by Liz Hugel

Close your eyes for a moment and visualize the most memorable physical surrounding of your childhood. What do you remember? For many it is likely a special outdoor place that provided sensory input and perhaps opportunities for exploration and spontaneous activity. It is said that the classroom is where children are taught but the outdoors is where they learn on their own. This is the motivation behind the exciting GINLC environmental education initiative. (1)

In the last year we have made great strides in the development of our own Landscape for Learning on Grosse Ile. Conceptual drawings were completed earlier this year for all of the school properties. You can take a look at them on our website. We’ve been meeting regularly with the curriculum development director, Karen Roth, as well as with the school principals, teachers, and interested community members. Through these informative sessions we’ve been accepting feedback on the different projects and we’ve been setting priorities. Progress on our first project, developing outdoor rock gardens at each of the schools was described in our last newsletter by Bruce Jones. The boulders are in place and now we’re finishing up the lighter work of establishing the area around the boulders conducive to learning. Stop by the schools to see them, or better yet let us know if you're interested in helping us complete these outdoor learning centers before the snow falls!

Other activities of the committee include interacting with youth both on GI and the metro Detroit area to support our goal of developing environmentally literate citizens. Recently we had a group of students from Del Ray stop by the Nature Center to spend some quality time exploring and learning about our ecosystem. They soaked it up! We've been working with many of our GI youth too, from preschoolers to HS biology students.

Our goal is to reach students at all levels and we intend that they learn the aesthetic value of our environment in a hands-on multidisciplinary way. With this in mind we've also been discussing with our school administration the benefits of student internships in the sciences, landscaping, journalism, art, and photography. Fortunately, we have many local teens willing to contribute to our community and we've already have many positive experiences working with them. Currently we have several prospective Eagle Scouts from GI and Trenton working on Nature Center projects. If you know of any students interested in working with us please send them our way.

Stop by and see us at the Nature Center some time. If that's not convenient for you then be sure to visit our website Our web administrator, Greg Roginski, is working to expand the information we have available for you on-line. Drop us a line at if you have any questions or thoughts to share with us on any of our programs.

Reference: (1) Landscapes for Learning by Sharon Stine.