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North Lakeland Discovery Center celebrates 25 years with renovations


Story By Lilly Zoller
Local News Published 09/15/2021 3:00PM, Last Updated 09/17/2021 5:52PM
Manitowish Waters - The North Lakeland Discovery Center is celebrating its 25th year with a series of expansion projects to help it better serve the community.

"It's not just Manitowish Waters. It's a regional-wide organization. We have members and supporters and volunteers all over the Northwoods," said Rolf Ethun, the capital campaign coordinator for the North Lakeland Discovery Center.

The Discovery Center aims to get people in touch with the Northwoods and appreciate nature. New buildings and renovations will give the center the opportunity to do just that.

"What are the elements of nature that are at play and why does that matter to us today in our lives? As people learn more about the environment and about the Northwoods they live in, they tend to make better decisions about it," said John Heusinkveld, the executive director of the North Lakeland Discovery Center.

One of the ways the Discovery Center does this is through programming available to the public. A few of those programs include historical canoe and pontoon trips on the lake and winter snowshoe animal tracking events.

"If you like being outdoors, if nature means anything to you, you should come out to the Discovery Center because we have a program that's tied to it," said Heusinkveld.

The center is building a new facility to host programs onsite all year round.

Construction is set to begin this winter if they hit their fundraising goal by then. So far, they have raised more than $3 million but they are hoping to make it to $4 million soon thanks to the more 500 individual donors who have contributed to the campaign so far.

"It's tremendously gratifying just to feel and know that people care that much and are willing to do it," said Ethun.

The center is within 10% of its fundraising goal. Once they reach that goal, they can begin construction on the building that will serve people in the area.

If you're interested in donating to the discovery center, you can call them or find more information on their website. 
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