About Us

DCGL SignThe nonprofit Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes was founded in 2007 following Michael Dow’s generous donation of a parcel of property (consisting of 9 acres of land, 6 buildings, a dock, a mooring field, a small creek, and a significant wetland area) to Rotary Camps & Services, the landholding arm of the Traverse City Rotary Club.

The Discovery Center soon became the shared home of four important water-focused nonprofit organizations: the Maritime Heritage Alliance, the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, and Traverse Area Community Sailing. The Traverse Tall Ship Company joined the campus in 2012 as an affiliate business partner.

Following a comprehensive community-wide needs assessment, the Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes is poised to grow into a preeminent cultural and educational attraction on Grand Traverse Bay.