Harrisburg, PA - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that a dedication ceremony for the new Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitor Center and Park Office in McKean County will be held Sept. 15.
“Since the skywalk at Kinzua Bridge State Park was completed in 2011, we’ve seen a growing number of visitors at the park coming to enjoy this unique experience,” Dunn said. “The new center enhances their visit, welcoming them with exhibits and information about the history of the area and the many opportunities for outdoor activities at the park and in the Pennsylvania Wilds region.
“I got a sneak peek at the fantastic interactive exhibits and the green features in the new building and I know people are going to be impressed and excited to get out and explore after their visit,” Dunn said.
The visitor center includes 2,800-square feet of space in two exhibit halls and a lobby; park administrative offices; public restrooms; and classroom space.
“We also are thrilled that the facility is the location of the first ‘PA Wilds Conservation Shop,’ the result of a public-private partnership with the non-profit PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship,” Dunn said.
The PA Wilds Conservation Shop sells branded merchandise, as well as one-of-a-kind artisan wares from local artisans juried through The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Shop proceeds will support the center’s business and community development programs and resources.
“DCNR has been making significant investments in its facilities and attractions in the Pennsylvania Wilds,” Dunn said. “This visitor center is intended to complement our other regional investments, including the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, the Elk Country Visitor Center, and the Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning. It gives visitors the opportunity to spend several days in the region enjoying nature and the unique and special character of the area.”
LEED certification will be sought for the building, which includes water-efficient plumbing fixtures; a geothermal heating and cooling system; regionally sourced materials with a high level of recycled content; sustainably certified wood; and the diversion of construction debris and waste to recycling centers instead of landfills.
Just off historic scenic highway Route 6, the 323-acre Kinzua Bridge State Park features remnants of the 2,053-foot long viaduct first built of iron in 1882, and rebuilt of steel in 1900. The viaduct, or railroad bridge, utilized a series of arches carrying the railroad over the wide valley.
The structure was toppled by a tornado in 2003. In 2011, DCNR opened a pedestrian walkway on the remaining bridge portion that affords visitors a view of the Kinzua Creek Valley Gorge below. In 2014, the Kinzua Skywalk was named one of the Top 10 Skywalks in the world.
For more information about Kinzua Bridge State Park visit www.dcnr.pa.gov and choose “State Parks.” For more information about the Pennsylvania Wilds and the PA Wilds Center visit www.pawildscenter.org; and The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania at www.pawildsartisans.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak - 717 772-9101
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