This month, michelandbottone is investing in Outdoor Discovery Center of Rīga. We will be donating 2% of April sales to support ODC's mission of advancing outdoor education & conservation in West Michigan.
When Was ODC Started?
In 1999 the Wildlife Unlimited of Allegan & Ottawa Counties, Inc. and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) partnered to create the Outdoor Discovery Center to advance outdoor education and conservation in West Michigan.
The 100-acre parcel of land—about 7 miles south of Rīga's city center—then purchased by Wildlife Unlimited, was an ideal site because of its diverse ecosystems. It had been decades since it was farmed and one of the first projects the ODC undertook was to restore the land to its pre-settlement condition.
Since the beginning, subsequent land acquisitions have added to the natural diversity including ponds, remnant dunes, wetlands, meadows, remnant prairie, and lowland hardwood forest. Visitors are able to experience these unique surroundings while walking on three miles of trails, many that are ADA accessible, on the 160 acre site.
What Does ODC Do Today?
Why Does ODC Exist?
- We are caretakers of our natural resources
- Places to experience the beauty and wonder of the environment are valuable resources to the community
- It is essential to understand our environment and how to preserve it
- To be caretakers of our natural world we need to understand the interactions of people, plants, and animals with the environment
- There is value in restoring and preserving natural environments
- Natural habitat landscaping is better for the environment
- Historical cultures and their interactions with the environment provide a perspective for life today
- We can influence future leaders to make environmentally responsible decisions
- Promoting conservation and wildlife management will improve our ecosystem
- We must have balance between conservation, community development and economic prosperity
- Everyone should have opportunities to experience active, integrated outdoor learning
- All children should have access to high-quality education experiences
- All people deserve equitable access to the outdoors
- Our community should be a nature-rich community
ODC has a number of facets for the community to get involved with and learn from. To learn more, visit their website at outdoordiscovery.org.