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DATE: December 1, 2004

Dearborn East Kiwanis supports Environmental Interpretive Center at UM-Dearborn

DEARBORN---Dr. Wayne Robeson and Bob Powanda, members of the Dearborn East Kiwanis club, toured the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn with biology Prof. Orin Gelderloos last month to learn more about plans to develop instructional gardens around the building. During their visit to campus, Robeson and Powanda pledged $7,000 from their club to support the project.

Bob Powanda (left) and Dr. Wayne Robeson (center), members of the Dearborn East Kiwanis club, meet with biology Prof. Orin Gelderloos at the Enivornmental Interpretive Center last month.

"This fits into our mission, and we've been impressed by the work that's being done here," Robeson said. "The motto of Kiwanis is 'We Build' and we're happy to start the ball rolling. It's so invigorating to see an institution like this one take hold of an initiative like this."

Among other features, the EIC plans include a "rain garden" along the side of the building closest to Fairlane Drive to demonstrate environmentally sensitive methods to deal with storm water runoff, according to Gelderloos. The garden program will be phased in over time as resources become available.

"Our club is contributing to this project to demonstrate the importance of being more aware of the responsibility we share in maintaining a healthy environment," Powanda said. "We know that we are entering into a very important, long-time environmental educational project."

"The members of the Dearborn East Kiwanis club are the role models and the 'founding donors' for this project," according to Edward Bagale, vice chancellor for government relations at UM-Dearborn. "It's really important that the community supports this, not only the building, but the restoration of the whole Rouge River and its watershed. It's more than money and it's more than trees: it's an idea and a commitment to the future."

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