Island Lake Recreation Area – A Stepping Stones program location

Island Lake Recreation Area provides a great backdrop for the Stepping Stones program for urban youth.

Michigan State University Extension will explore the natural habitat and activities available at Island Lake Recreation Area through the Stepping Stones program. A goal of the program by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is to have youth return every year to continue their outdoor education and potentially gain experience working in outdoor sciences. This next article in this series will highlight the outreach conducted at Belle Isle State Park.

Island Lake Recreation Area is located in Brighton, Michigan. This park allows park visitors to have a real "up north" experience in the Southeast Michigan. The State Park covers over 4,000 Acres of land in the Livingston County and offers a number of activities including biking, boat rentals, hiking and swimming. When you are at the park you have the ability to use facilities such as cabins and ledges, the shooting range and the picnic shelter.

The outreach Stepping Stones does is conducted at the Dodge Brothers Unit located near the back of Island Lake Recreation Area. These programs are done right off of the actual Island Lake, allowing children to see the vast beauty of a large, enclosed body of water. The Stepping Stones program staff provides five different programs at this park including fishing, archery and camping lessons. These programs are intended for inner city youth who do not have the opportunity to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. In addition to getting outdoors, children learn the necessary safety precautions to take, skills to practice each activity and additional educational information. This is an ideal setting to implement support and encouragement to teach youth about a new, unfamiliar environment. Since this park is located near a body of water, children are asked to become scientist during their time there and investigate the quality of our waters. Children are also taught about Macro invertebrates and their importance to the water quality.

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