Meigs Point Nature Center is located at Hammonasset Beach in Madison.

Meigs Point Nature Center is located at Hammonasset Beach in Madison.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the new Meigs Point Nature Center, which opened in May, now is a great time to go! The newly constructed Nature Center features four exhibits with many different types of wildlife local to Connecticut. The Nature Center also features 60 digital signs and four larger-than-life touch screens designed by Middlesex Community College students and staff.

Center for New Media students Julian DePasquale and Rachel Watkins worked with Professor Rick Eriksen on creating the digital signage and interactive touch screens. Professor Eriksen, who is the program coordinator of multimedia and digital arts, found out about this opportunity from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). MxCC’s Corporate Media Center was also tapped to create an educational video that plays in the Nature Center.

“For me, the Meigs Point Nature Center project was a great learning and collaborative experience,” said multimedia major, Julian DePasquale, who just graduated this past May. “Not only is it a project I’m proud to have been a part of, but it’s also one that so many people will be able to view and enjoy.”

Julian and Rachel, along with Professor Eriksen, had about 2 months to create all 60 signs and develop the interactive quizzes for the touch screens.  The signs were unveiled at the grand opening on May 27.

“The students and professors need to be commended,” said Diane Joy, who works in the State Parks and Public Outreach Division at CT DEEP. “They seemed to be genuinely interested and committed to the program and proud of their work when they viewed it at Meigs Point. Everyone who has visited Meigs Point Nature Center has been very impressed. DEEP’s State Parks & Public Outreach Division is definitely looking forward to continuing this partnership. It was a tremendous benefit to us and we know that the visitors to Hammonasset Beach State Park are learning so much more about this diverse ecosystem because of the interactive exhibits and professional looking digital screens. We definitely could not have created this without the assistance of Professor Eriksen and support of Middlesex Community College staff and students.”