The Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation (TRECF) was established as The Friends of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in June 2003, three years prior to the opening of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) in May 2006. Our name change occurred in late 2017. The Foundation plays a critical role in raising funds for TREC, DCNR/Presque Isle, educators, researchers, and our partners at TREC.
From 2007 to 2019, we provided over $517,888 in grant money to our environmental partners, K-12 schools throughout the region, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for TREC and Presque Isle. We have provided grants through the IU-5 and school districts throughout the region so that K-12 students have the TREC Experience, a STEAM-focused educational experience.
From 2007 to 2019, 26,642 students have participated in the program. Our focus is education, research, and the visitor experience; researching and teaching about the eco-systems, flora, and fauna of our unique 3,200 acres of Presque Isle State Park and Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes.
We are approaching a pivotal year in 2021. The TREC will celebrate its 15th year and Presque Isle State Park its 100th year anniversary. We must focus on updating our main exhibits, all created prior to 2006, to address how people of all ages learn today. We must expand our story on the Great Lakes, for they hold 20 percent of the world's fresh water and form an interconnected system that is among the most beautiful, economically significant, and ecologically complex regions on earth. Climate change is causing far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and our region. We must inform all ages of the impact of climate change on Presque Isle, Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes. Presque Isle and Lake Erie is Erie's natural capital and is critical to our region's economic future. We must be more interactive and immersive.
301 Peninsula Drive, Suite 1
Erie, PA 16505