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DCNR, Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation Announce Plan for Innovative Visitor Experience Partnership


Erie, PA -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined former Governor Tom Ridge to announce plans to enhance the visitor experience at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) housed within Presque Isle State Park.

DCNR and the TREC Foundation are partnering with Ideum, a company that designs interactive exhibits and creates integrated hardware products, to help better engage visitors to the park’s main hub. Plans include using the center’s facilities to implement new interactive exhibits that explore the connections between Presque Isle, Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes, and the relationship to water flow, fishing, agriculture, climate change and more.

“This is an incredible partnership that will help enhance the amazing educational efforts that are happening at Presque Isle,” Dunn said. “We see this as a wonderful opportunity to create a more hands-on experience that will connect with visitors more deeply and create more environmentally conscious people. Thank you to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation, DCNR staff and the community stakeholders who are helping bring this vision to reality.”

TREC is an educational center dedicated to teaching visitors about the unique 3,200 acres of Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit the peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research -- contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle, the site of Pennsylvania’s only seashore.

"The protection and sustainability of our natural assets like Presque Isle State Park and the Great Lakes is essential, both environmentally and economically,” Ridge said. “This has been a priority for me since my days in Congress and when I had the privilege to chair the Council of Great Lakes Governors. TREC stands to be not only a leading regional attraction, but also one that will bring national and international interest as well. A wonderful adage says, ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.' That has driven me during my years in public service and continues to this day through this exciting project."

The plans for the improvements to TREC’s exhibits were a result of collaboration between DCNR, the TREC Foundation and community stakeholders seeking to maximize the impact the center has on its visitors, with the goal of enhancing environmental knowledge to create new nature enthusiasts, naturalists, and conservationists.

For more information about the Tom Ridge Environmental Center visit DCNR’s website.

Visit DCNR’s website to learn more about Presque Isle State Park

MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315

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