A group of us went to the Environmental Interprative Center at University of Michigan Dearborn to learn more about the watershed and the interconnections between human activity, watershed health, and the plant and animal communities in the Rouge River watershed.
We looked at a large, interactive satellite image of the Rouge River Watershed and Mr Simek, a university professor, told us about the history of the watershed from: glacial formation, use by Native Americans and industrialization.We watched three cool videos called “Trip of a Drip”, Welcome to the Watershed”, and “Repair and Rebound” . They helped us see the connections between the every day decisions we make as individuals and communities and our impacts on the health of the Rouge River watershed. We walked outside to trace the path of water runoff in surface and storm drains, and over permeable and impervious surfaces and learned how impervious surfaces impact the ecological quality of the Rouge River more than any other factor. We saw the “rain garden” outside the Center, andmr Simek told us small and large rain garden spaces can reduce runoff that goes into the Rouge through storm drains.We walked along the banks of the Rouge River to look for evidence of erosion and deposition and learned that Henry Ford used the River to make hydroelectrci power for Fairlane, his last home where the university is now built.