Foundation Working to Form Pa. Wildlife Center to Educate, Inform

STATE COLLEGE – Just about every Pennsylvanian is aware of the state’s strong wildlife population, but how much do we really know about it?

A foundation based in State College is in the preliminary stages of working to educate commonwealth residents and others alike about the rich resources that are in many of our backyards.

The Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation held their December meeting Wednesday in State College, and a big topic of conversation was plans to build a wildlife education center.

“The basic idea of the center is a research and education center which would include the Pennsylvania Wilds displayed for educational purposes,” said Russ Schleiden, president of the foundation, in an interview with GantDaily.

The board of directors even met with an architect Wednesday to get a feel for what is needed in the next phases.

“We’re still planning, but I’m thinking it will be somewhere in Central Pennsylvania, within driving distance of Penn State,” Schleiden said, noting that the Pennsylvania State University has wildlife and forestry study programs.

“This will be the only one in Pennsylvania, for Pennsylvania.”

Schleiden said he envisioned the center being used by many people including school trips from area students. Early plans call for an auditorium, instruction rooms and a research lab, he said.

The foundation is still in need of a director from Western Pennsylvania, and memberships in the foundation are beginning to be offered through its Web site.

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