By Catherine Bryan
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle (TREC PI) is the gateway to Presque Isle and Lake Erie. Built in 2006, TREC is an educational center dedicated to teaching visitors about the 3,200 acres of Presque Isle and all of the many forms of life that inhabit it. TREC is open year round and is free of charge to visitors. It features interactive exhibits, the four-story Big Green Screen Theatre, a nature shop and gallery, the Sunset Cafe, visitors' center, and a 75 foot tall observation tower overlooking the Presque Isle peninsula.
TREC hosts many public outreach programs for all ages and grade levels that showcase the wonders of nature. It is also a research center, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness. The building also hosts administrative space for many natural resource-related organizations, including the Regional Science Consortium, the Friends of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the Lake Erie-Allegheny Earth Force, the Presque Isle Audubon Society, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, the Presque Isle Partnership, Presque Isle Advisory Committee and the Purple Martin Conservation Association. In addition, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center is also home to offices for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's two offices, and the Office of the Great Lakes and Coastal Zone Management.
Through the TREC PI website, you can get connected with events going on at the environmental center and at the park at large, plan your trip, connect with outreach programs for your group, organization, or class, and view the events calendar for programs. Also visit TRECPI's natural history museum website, Dynamic Dunes, for a sneak peek at Presque Isle and its inhabitants.