Learning center receives facelift

The West Creek Wetland Learning Center located along West Creek Road in St. Marys has undergone major improvements to its landscape, making for a more enjoyable educational experience."We have been spending a lot of time out there this past month," said Elk County Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine.The Elk County Conservation District is hard at work getting the center ready for its grand opening on Sept. 28."Much of the time this month has been spent landscaping the rain garden and flower bed," Bonfardine said. "Between Jodi [Foster] in Planning [Department] and me, we are watering the plants every day in hopes to keep them alive through this hot spell."The Stackpole Hall Foundation is hosting a tour on Aug. 5 and will be using the Learning Center as one of their destinations. The foundation has provided the Conservation District with grant monies for the Learning Center's pavilion and has contributed to the Elk County Monitoring Project."They decided to do their tour based on our projects and I think that is really nice," Bonfardine said. "They are going to start out at the wetlands and then onto a site where I put up one of the water monitoring systems, so they can actually see it in the stream and see how it works."The wetland rests on the Eastern Continental Divide and is the beginning of a watershed that flows to the Chesapeake Bay, making for a picturesque learning experience.