The Wyoming County Conservation District is hoping to construct a new office building on its land in Tunkhannock.
“A couple years ago we purchased the property on Mile Road where we have Conservation Field Days,” said Doug Deutsch, Conservation District manager. “We’re looking to possibly put a building on there. We’re still in the feasibility stage of that.”
The building would not only house the county conservation district’s office, but possibly partnering agencies as well, such as Penn State Extension.
“It’s been kind of a legacy property,” he said, as the district has held Conservation Field Day on the property in conjunction with Rice family for 40 years.
“Circumstances changed a few years back within the family that they were looking to sell some of the property there,” he said. “We had talked about it for a lot of years to keep the legacy going for Conservation Field Day and then that kind of led down the road to the eventual purchase.”
The hope is to have a building open to the community for environmental education in addition to continuing the yearly field day event.
“We hope to really have things that showcase what’s in Wyoming County as far as natural resources and some place people can learn,” he said.
Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry said he believes a new building would be a plus for the conservation district’s educational efforts.
“For years there’s been children coming through that area,” Henry said. “They want to have an inside area too for children with different displays for animals and things that people can see and use always, not just certain times of the year.”
While the drawings Henry has seen are preliminary, he’s impressed with the conservation district’s ideas, such as utilizing local products and planning for the building to match the aesthetic of the natural surrounding area.
The conservation district currently rents an office space on Hollow Crest Road in Tunkhannock, which differs from the open land on Mile Road.
“Our long term hopes are to get demonstration projects for different practices that can be utilized, like rain guards for storm water retention, possibly solar or wind energy,” Deutsch explained.
Another hope is that the building itself would have sustainable aspects.
“At the very least we would hope to have things to demonstrate what options are out there that are green,” he said.
Right now, the district is looking at possibilities for design, but haven’t quite gotten down to the feasibility of getting a structure on the property.
Deutsch said the conservation district is hopeful that the plan could come to life eventually.
“It comes down to financing and all that,” he said. “So really we’re in the beginning processes for sure.”