National Wildlife Refuge System

New Visitor Center at San Luis Refuge

Credit: USFWS
Credit: USFWS

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex, in the San Joaquin Valley of northern California, has celebrated the opening of a new visitor center and headquarters.

The 16,000-square foot building was made possible with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The San Luis Refuge Complex facility was the largest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ARRA-funded project in the country.

The new building includes a visitor center with an exhibit hall, an environmental education room and administrative offices for the refuge staff. The complex includes the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Merced National Wildlife Refuge, San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge and the Grasslands Wildlife Management Area –nearly 45,000 acres of wetlands, grasslands and riparian habitats, as well as over 90,000 acres of conservation easements on private lands for the protection and benefit of wildlife. 

Refuge staff expect the facility to be awarded a platinum rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The building will produce more energy than it consumers through solar panels and passive design features.

Two auto-tour routes and two nature trails are accessible directly from the new center. It also sits within the tule elk enclosure, providing visitors up-close view of the resident elk herd.
Tule elk at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
Tule elk at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge
Credit: USFWS
Last updated: October 17, 2011