The Elk County Conservation District [ECCD] plans to turn the West Creek Wetlands into an outdoor education center.
The district has $19,389.87 from remaining grant monies to improve the wetlands.
“June Sorg, one of our county commissioners, saw this piece of property about 10 years ago and said that it would make an excellent outdoor education center,” said Elk County Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine. “It's in the industrial park across the road from our powder metal industries and on the other side of the road is basically the Eastern Continental Divide and the West Creek starts right there.
“It's like a little ditch running down the road. That's exactly what it is. It pulls up there and has made a nice wetlands. All of the beaver have left the area for some reason, so we are definitely having some fluctuation in the water levels.”
The ECCD recently built a pavilion on the property and have named it the West Creek Learning Center.
“We are trying to make it secluded and private,” Bonfardine said. “We have a simple pavilion back there and we have six octagon-shaped tables.”
According to Bonfardine, the Clearfield-based environmental group Nature Abounds is interested in the project.
“They [Nature Abounds] were very interested when I told them about it because they can go out there and do all sorts of fun things out there,” Bonfardine said. “We have a walking circular trail that goes from the pavilion down around to the wetlands area, and there is a floating boardwalk that you can have a little classroom lesson on, and we are going to get some signage and benches up there.”