Crow’s Nest: Visitors’ Center Expansion
We’re adding on to the Visitors’ Center at Crow’s Nest Preserve!
Over the last 15 years, our program offerings at Crow’s Nest (and Natural Lands Trust-wide!) have increased substantially. The summer camp program at Crow’s Nest has grown from one week to five, the number of nature clubs during the school year has increased to five per week, and we’ve added additional weeks of programming to each season of nature club. In the last three years, we’ve also added a program for teenagers who have aged out of our other education programs. Additionally, a number of outside groups use our beautiful Visitors’ Center as a meeting space.
Along with the increase in programming, we’ve increased our staff. Just five years ago (seems like yesterday!), we only needed office space for our preserve manager, Dan Barringer. Since then, we have added an educator, an assistant preserve manager, a full-year intern, and a summer intern.
Whew! That all amounts to growing pains!
The new addition to the Visitors’ Center will provide office space for these new staff members, additional storage space for the supplies we use in our programs, and public restrooms for preserve visitors.
The two-story wing–designed by architect Lou Schneider–echoes historical additions commonly seen on Chester County bank barns like our Visitors’ Center. We think the addition will enhance the look of the barn, and we’re pleased that the Warwick Township Historical Architectural Review Board agreed (and approved our plans).
The upper level will be office space for staff members, while the lower level serve as storage and work space for staff. The lower level will also include a bathroom that is directly accessible from the outside, allowing us to provide restroom facilities to preserve visitors even when a staff member is not available to open the Visitors’ Center.
Construction began in mid-May, 2015, and (fingers crossed!) will be completed by early-summer 2016.
During construction, the existing portion of the Visitors’ Center will remain open and education programs will run as normal. At times, the trail from the parking lot to the barn may be re-routed through the playground and across the lawn to keep visitors a safe distance from the construction zone.
A private donor has generously provided the funding for the Visitors’ Center addition.
Want to learn more? Give us a call at Crow’s Nest Preserve… 610-286-7955.