After a little over a decade of strategic planning the state Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Adventure Center is finally open to the public.
Governor Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan, HGTV’s “Rehab Addict” and Detroit’s Nicole Curtis, headlined a ribbon cutting ceremony at the riverfront’s latest attraction last week.
“I have been in this city my whole life and anyone from this city knows for most of its history the waterfront was not accessible to the public,” said Mayor Duggan. “If you could rewind the clock 20 years and see what was along this water you would think how could this be done.”
The birth of the center was first discussed in the late 90’s.
With much collaboration between public and private sectors, the historic Globe Building on Atwater near Milliken State Park and Harbor underwent a three-year renovation. The 41,000-square-foot facility is now home to Detroit’s “Up North, Downtown.”
The Globe Building is significant for its role in the maritime history of the Great Lakes as a manufacturer of marine steam engines for freight and passenger vessels. Yet, it lay dormant and vacant for years before being selected as the site for renovation.
“I have watched this building step-by-step and it is just amazing,” said Curtis, who played a role in the final vision of the remodeled environment friendly space. “When you can get children involved in outdoor activities it gets their mind working.”
The public grand opening included a special appearance by Miz Rosie the Storyteller, who told stories of the Underground Railroad as Harriet Tubman.
“We have to create spaces for them (the youth) to grow,” said Curtis. “This is an honor, to just help put this together for the city.”
At the ceremony, local Boy & Girl Scouts of America chapters and prominent lawmakers enjoyed a glimpse of the exhibits offered inside the center.
The center will provide various exhibits and guest exhibitors throughout the year, exhibits include: Majestic Elk Entrance, Fire Circle, Fire Circle and many more Michigan nature related experiences.
“We can share this with all the citizens of Michigan and particularly all the kids of Detroit,” said Snyder. “This is another step forward in the comeback of Detroit and the comeback of Michigan.”