Urban Oasis Brings Desert, Nature and People Together
On February 21, 2014, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe cut the ribbon to open an 11,000-square-foot visitor center joined by Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Congresswoman Dina Titus, refuge staff and partners. The new facility offers visitor information, exhibits, two classrooms/meeting rooms, administrative offices and a bookstore. It was built with solar panels, 8-inch-thick concrete walls for insulation and an unusual heating and cooling system.
The visitor center was completed in just 12 months, funded entirely with revenue public land sales.
The Desert Refuge visitor center is part of the Refuge System's focus on serving urban audiences. More than 100 national wildlife refuges serve metropolitan areas. Eight refuges are within 25 miles of population centers of three million.
"The Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative provides economic benefits to hundreds of communities as new generations of city dwellers learn wildlife-dependent recreation, such as birding, fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing and so much more," said Service Director Dan Ashe. "Too many Americans have grown up without a real connection to wildlife. This initiative gives us the chance to change that."
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Last updated: February 27, 2015