Council Rings Project
During spring 2010, the installation of a rain garden on the south side of the EIC building offered a unique opportunity to create a gathering place to sit and enjoy the garden and its wildlife. Jens Jensen, the famous early 20 th century landscape architect, who designed the grounds of the Henry Ford Estate, often designed and built outdoor structures called council rings. These stone or wooden circles afford a group of visitors to sit together and converse in an egalitarian setting, where all people in the community are listened to and valued.
The Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC) enlisted Daniel Bunge, a Dearborn Boy Scout interested in completing his Eagle Service Project, his family, and a crew of volunteers from BSA Troop 1147 to design and construct two concentric council rings in the midst of the newest EIC rain garden. Daniel and his volunteer crew began construction of the council rings in June. They spent many hours digging holes, setting posts, and building benches. This project was made possible with financial assistance from a Ford Motor Company MODEL “Better World” mini-grant, which provided funds to purchase lumber and other necessary building materials. The completed council rings have already become a staging area for the EIC’s educational school programs, and it is common to see students and staff sitting on the benches eating lunch and enjoying the sites and sounds of the rain garden.
The Rouge River Bird Observatory is the longest- running, full-time urban bird research station in North America.
University of Michigan – Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128