Marian College recently received a grant from The Glick Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, to enhance the Marian College EcoLab, the college’s 55-acre urban wetland and lowland forest.
The grant will be used to enhance technology, programming, and staffing in the EcoLab—an investment that will benefit not only Marian College science students, but also school children of all ages from across central Indiana. The EcoLab frequently hosts K-12 students with Summer Math and Science Camps and class field trips—last year, thousands of students visited the wetlands—and gifts to the EcoLab enhance students’ overall experience as well as help with basic maintenance and restoration, which are important issues as interest in and human impact on the EcoLab increases.
Among the EcoLab improvements made possible by the Glick gift will be supporting a full-time environmental educator specialist. This person will work directly with students who visit each year and allow the EcoLab to host more than 3,500 students annually.
New technology will allow for ongoing research and distance learning. For example, Marian College will install web cams in beaver lodges, nest boxes, owl nests, along beaver channels, and in other strategic locations so teachers and students can watch critters from their classrooms.
Work on a new nature center will also begin in the EcoLab this summer. Funded by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, it will include an indoor staging area for lessons and office space. The gift will also pay for the addition of a shelter in the center of the EcoLab.