Zorn, battlefield park officials highlight funding for new education center in state budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, Rep. Joe Bellino and River Raisin National Battlefield Park officials on Friday outlined the learning center that will be completed thanks to funding included in the fiscal year 2022 state budget.

“As a longtime supporter of applied learning, I have worked hard for four years to secure funding for this integrative center,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Once completed, the center will transform this national battlefield facility, help us preserve our history, and attract tourists to our region.

“Michigan State University projects the new education center will attract more than 600,000 visitors and serve over 100,000 K-12 students every year once it’s open.”

The new state budget includes $2 million to create 15,000 square feet of exhibits and facility modifications needed to open the River Raisin Great Lakes History and STEM Education Center, which was designed in partnership with Michigan educators.

“The National Park Service is grateful for the incredible partnership we have with the state of Michigan and for all of the work and support the state continues to provide through the leadership of Sen. Zorn, Rep. Bellino and many others,” said Scott Bentley, superintendent of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. “The funding provided through this appropriation will advance the educational partnerships the battlefield has with Michigan schools by bringing alive the interactive exhibit concepts teachers have developed over the past eight years.”

Doug Chaffin, chairman of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation, outlined the foundation’s commitment to the park and its missions of historical preservation and education.

The goal of the center is to engage students and unpack the complex history that led to the War of 1812 in the Great Lakes, the formation of Michigan as a state, and the influence the battles had on U.S. policy.

“This is a great day for Monroe, and I look forward to seeing the center fully open and serving the public,” Zorn said.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Photo caption: Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, outlines the River Raisin Great Lakes History and STEM Education Center that will be completed thanks to $2 million in funding included in the fiscal year 2022 state budget. The funds will help cover 15,000 square feet of exhibits and facility modifications needed to open the integrative learning center, which was designed in partnership with Michigan educators.