Jacksons Bottom Wetlands Preserve
The Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve — a 710-acre wildlife sanctuary and wetlands preserve — was founded in 1989 as a resource site for school children, scouts, educators, researchers and community members. The tranquil retreat is home to thousands of songbirds, ducks, geese, deer, otter and beavers.
It became clear in 1999 that a formal education center was needed for the enriching field trips and events provided to the northwest community. With the help of generous donors and dedicated volunteers, the education center opened in 2003, featuring interactive exhibit, unique artifacts, and a special classroom for hands-on learning.
“I’m sure our education center was a challenge for the Robert Evans Company,” said Sandy Crinklaw, director of development. “We had private donations of building products to schedule in, and large pledges that had specific fulfillment dates. Because of his real interest in the Preserve, Bob Evans worked with us and our donor schedule to make the project happen in one year. On top of that, the firm saved us about $100,000 through engineering suggestions and changes in window and door systems.”
“They were constantly vigilant about the most effective way to do all aspects of the project,” added Gary Myers, board chairman. “We ended up with a very high-quality building. We definitely made the best choice for the Preserve.”
The 12,000-square-foot cedar building blends well with its natural surroundings, with a 3,000-square-foot wrap-around deck that connects the center to the trails leading into the Preserve.