As divers, we are thrilled if a fish, frog or turtle gets up close and personal with us on a dive in a local lake. Well, there is a way to experience being underwater and enjoy the wildlife without getting wet.
The Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) at the Indian Springs Metro Park is home to a giant dome and viewing window that brings native Michigan fish and wildlife into clear view. Visitors regularly see a variety of fish habitats, tree stumps, logs and large rock formations underwater. They also regularly see two Rec Divers, Dave Wurtz and Brad Sayyae, who volunteer to keep the dome and viewing windows clean.
The pond at the EDC is completely natural; the water is not filtered or chemically controlled. Algae and sediment are normal things to be found in bodies of fresh water. The algae and sediment collect on the windows and dome and eventually reduce visibility, like any dirty window. Recreational Scuba Diving is not permitted in any Metro Park, but Rec Diving Instructor Dave Wurtz was approached when it became apparent that the dome would need periodic maintenance. Ever since, Dave and his dive buddy Brad, have been washing the windows about every two weeks from early March until the ice forms.
“Everyone appreciates our work, which really isn’t work – more like fun, ” says Wurtz. “It’s particularly rewarding to be able to give back, while doing something we enjoy.”
A vehicle permit is the only thing required to visit Indian Springs and the EDC and there’s never a charge to watch the EDC-Rec Diving Underwater Window Washing Team!