The Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation,  helps to forge partnerships between the private sector and the state agency that oversees Presque Isle.

The foundation raises money to help the center, also known as TREC, and the park in many different ways.

Foundation President Barbara Chaffee said, "Everything we do needs to be directed at helping our great lake and Presque Isle."

About 100,000 people visit the Ridge Center every year. Many of them are students. Their outings are supported by grants from the foundation.

Park Operations Manager Matt Greene said, "It really is able to get those folks who may never get to Presque Isle to come to open their eyes to what is important so they can be stewards long term."

Many of the students enjoy the nature movies shown on TREC's big green screen. The foundation helps to fund the theater.

Chaffee said, "Everyone of those movies is a great opportunity to learn something new in a short period of time with a medium that is very engaging."

The foundation also provides grants to enhance environmental education.

Money also helped to fund a nesting camera for purple martins that spend their summers on the park and on the grounds of TREC.

Other grants help the annual Festival of the Birds.,

And just recently, the foundation helped to sponsor an exhibit showing the problems of pollution caused by plastic.