UC Davis opens new Eriksson Education Center | SierraSun.com

UC Davis opens new Eriksson Education Center

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TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; More than 600 visitors joined UC Davis for the grand opening of the Eriksson Education Center in Tahoe City July 10, with science activities for children and guided tours of the historic building, native plant garden, and restored stream and wetland.

UC Davis opened the doors to their second science education center at Lake Tahoe and allowed the public into this historic site for the first time since the fish hatchery closed in 1956. Visitors enjoyed historic film footage of the hatchery operations, donated by a former Fish and Game employee and his family, and learned how fish were raised here. Other videos showcase research currently underway. Interactive games teach youth and adults about the fish and other species in Lake Tahoe. The recently news-worthy underwater research and management of Asian clams can also be viewed.

This beautiful old building, built in the 1920s, was formerly a fish hatchery operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. Author John Steinbeck worked as a caretaker at the hatchery, living in the two-story cottage behind this building. He completed his first novel while working here.

Researchers at Lake Tahoe have used this site as their base for research and field operations since 1975. Researchers study water clarity, identify and track non-native species, monitor air quality, develop new approaches for treating polluted stormwater, and build field equipment.

Nearly $4.5 million were raised through private donations, federal, state and local grants for the buildingand#8217;s historical renovation and property improvements. The main building was renovated, obsolete buildings removed, gardens constructed and education center developed. Restoring the nearby wetlands and stream provides a unique and#8220;living laboratoryand#8221; for scientists, students and the public.

Volunteer docents will provide free tours of the historic fish hatchery and demonstration gardens from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tours are also available by appointment. Or just stop by to take a stroll in the garden and check out the interpretive exhibits.

The Eriksson Education Center is located just a half-mile from downtown Tahoe City at Highway 28 (North Tahoe Boulevard) and Lake Forest Road.

For more information, visit the Tahoe Environmental Research Center online at terc.ucdavis.edu.

and#8212; Submitted to the Sun via aedgett@sierrasun.com

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