Cal Poly Pomona and Rain Bird Corporation to Unveil BioTrek, a 3,500 sq ft Rainforest Simulation
Cal Poly Pomona and Rain Bird Corporation, the leading manufacturer of irrigation equipment, announced today the Oct. 1 grand opening of BioTrek at Cal Poly Pomona, a comprehensive rainforest simulation and learning center located on the university’s campus in Pomona, Calif. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m.
Five years in the making, the 3,500 sq. ft. research and education facility consists of three learning centers including the Rain Bird Rainforest Learning Center, the Rain Bird Ethnobotany Learning Center and the Rain Bird Aquatic Biology Learning Center, all of which provide an unparalleled “hands-on” learning experience for students of all levels to explore the complexities and diversity of a tropical rainforest as well as terrestrial and aquatic habitats of California and the tropics. In addition to remarks by officials from Cal Poly Pomona, Rain Bird and invited dignitaries, the event will feature tours of the facility and its three learning centers, activities for children and a special appearance from a Tongva Native American tribal representative who will recite a dedication speech in his native language.
The only facility of its kind located on a university campus, BioTrek is expected to provide more than 10,000 students and visitors per year with the opportunity to learn the importance of environmental conservation and how the future is linked to present conservation efforts through an integrated, interactive learning and research process.
“BioTrek is a new approach to helping people learn about the ecological processes and cultural importance of rainforests and other habitats,” said Don Straney, Dean of the College of Science at Cal Poly Pomona. “It helps align the meaning of abstract ideas and scientific concepts. Visitors will experience first-hand the interrelationships among plants, animals, microbes and the physical environment.”
Initially situated in a science department prep room, BioTrek expanded into its multicenter incarnation in large part due to Rain Bird Corporation’s support.
“BioTrek is a natural extension of Rain Bird’s commitment to ‘The Intelligent Use of Water,’” said Art Ludwick, Senior Vice President of Rain Bird Corporation. “Rain Bird is deeply concerned about the environment and has always promoted stewardship of Earth’s resources, of which water is among the most precious.”
BioTrek is not the first time that Rain Bird Corporation has partnered with Cal Poly Pomona to create a program of true significance and universal application. Prior to the BioTrek project, the two entities teamed up to develop a K-12 Rainforest Teaching Curriculum, designed to be an educational tool for all educators, students and parents and currently available at www.rainbird.com.
Cal Poly Pomona is located at 3801 W. Temple Ave. in Pomona. Parking permits are required and can be purchased for $4 from the Visitor Information Booth along Kellogg Drive.