Cleveland Metroparks will establish sixth nature center, located on Cleveland’s east side
Cleveland Metroparks today announced plans to expand its STEM education and workforce development initiatives with support from KeyBank
The $750,000 grant will help fund the transformation of the recently acquired Barge 225, floating offshore in Wildwood Marina at Euclid Creek Reservation on Lake Erie. Once enhancements are complete, the nearly 8,800 square foot vessel will operate as Cleveland Metroparks sixth year-round nature center. The one-of-a-kind floating nature center will prioritize STEM-based educational programing and feature interactive interpretive exhibits, classroom spaces, community spaces, and a wet lab. Additional fundraising is underway to support the renovation of the vessel, including a $250,000 contribution from Jones Day Foundation.
Cleveland Metroparks team of trained educators will offer public programming with a specific focus on school-aged youth programs, particularly engaging the neighboring communities of Cleveland and Euclid.
“This investment by KeyBank will bring to life an unprecedented opportunity to connect youth to Lake Erie and the natural world through nature-based education.” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman.
“The grant awarded to Cleveland Metroparks underscores KeyBank’s commitment to education, working with Cleveland Metroparks to create impactful programs and initiatives both in the parks and the Zoo that advance young people’s knowledge and excitement for science and nature,” said Kelly Lamirand, KeyBank Cleveland Market President and Commercial Sales Leader.
Through the partnership, beginning today KeyBank AdventureKeys will expand beyond Cleveland Metroparks Zoo into Cleveland Metroparks five nature centers. The program incorporates exclusive video messages from experts through which young visitors can explore and learn about nature, animals and the importance of protecting our natural world. Designed to encourage hands-on learning and fun, children can use their AdventureKey to unlock exclusive, educational videos. Only one key is needed to unlock all AdventureKey boxes. The keys can be purchased at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as well as Cleveland Metroparks Nature Centers and Nature Shops.
Additionally, the grant will support the continuation of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Youth Advisory Council. Working with Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is designed to bring teens into a co-design process on Zoo programming to fill the gaps between an environmental career goal and entering the workforce in an environmental-based field.
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