Talked about for several years, a plan to build a new nature center on the north side of El Paso County in Colorado is now nearing the site selection stage.
El Paso County officials have long wanted to build a new facility due to the continuing popularity of two other such facilities operated by the county: the Bear Creek Nature Center at 325 Bear Creek Road in Colorado Springs, and the Fountain Creek Nature Center at 320 Pepper Grass Lane in the city of Fountain.
Both of those facilities offer a number of visual arts, educational, and interactive exhibitions promoting a better understanding of the country’s natural environment.
Officials say that because those two facilities are regularly at the saturation point in terms of the number of people visiting them, the need for a new center is pressing.
Now, one of two proposed sites seems destined to be the location for the new center. The first is located in the Black Forest just outside of Colorado Springs, while the second site is inside the Fox Run Regional Parks in Colorado Springs.
A feasibility study commissioned by the county and conducted by the Denver-based Altitude Consultants and Tremmel Design Group of Colorado Springs is expected to be completed later this year and will help identify not just the level of public support for the project, but also sources of revenue for it.
The exact size of the new center remains to be determined. The Bear Creek Natural Center measures some 9,000 square feet, while the Fountain Creek Natural Center is around 4,100 square feet.
By Garry Boulard
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