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Wetlands Park Nature Center officially opened

Visitors check out the exhibitions at Clark County's new Wetlands Park located about a mile east of Boulder Highway off Tropicana Avenue.
Visitors check out the exhibitions at Clark County's new Wetlands Park located about a mile east of Boulder Highway off Tropicana Avenue.
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Updated: 4/20/2013 4:37 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani welcomed the public to the new Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Center as it officially opened today.

The Wetlands Park is located at 7050 Wetlands Park Lane, about 1 mile east of Boulder Highway off Tropicana Avenue.

Admission inside the nature center is free, and hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. Outdoor visiting hours at the park are dawn to dusk.

Families, children and long-time volunteers and supporters of Clark County's largest and most rustic park smiled and clapped as Giunchigliani cut a ribbon near the entrance of the 8,335-square-foot exhibit gallery and visitors streamed inside. Featuring solar-powered insects flying overhead, samples of animal fur you can touch, and food chain models you can build, the gallery is designed to give visitors of all ages an interactive overview of the unique eco-system that Wetlands Park is designed to protect.

"It's fitting to celebrate the opening of the Wetlands Park Nature Center so close to Earth Day because the entire complex was built with sustainability in mind," said Commissioner Giunchigliani, whose District E in the central Las Vegas Valley includes Clark County Wetlands Park. "This facility was only a dream back in 1990s when Wetlands Park was first envisioned and it's a tribute to how far we've come as a community to embrace the desert environment we live in and celebrate it."

The 45,000-square-foot Nature Center complex features 30,000 square feet of building space and 15,000 square feet of outdoor observation decking for dramatic viewing of the park and surrounding mountain ranges. Most of the park's 2,900 acres are undeveloped and shaped by urban water runoff and reclaimed water that flows through the Las Vegas Wash and into Lake Mead. Visitor activity revolves around the 210-acre Nature Preserve, located on the west side of the park, and home of the new nature center. More than 200 species of birds and 70 species of mammals and reptiles have been spotted in the park, including beavers, coyotes, bobcats and snakes. The park features 13 miles of trails, including six within the Nature Preserve.

The nature center was built on concrete piers because the area is flood prone. The complex includes an auditorium with orientation film, information kiosk and administrative offices. Eco-friendly design elements include insulation made from blue jeans, maximized use of natural lighting and bamboo flooring harvested from sustainable forests. Complex windows tilt toward the ground instead of the sky to minimize injuries to birds.

The park is seeking volunteers to work in the nature center interacting with children and their families and assisting staff with projects.

For more information and an application, contact Allison Brody at <> or by calling (702) 455-7522. All applicants are subject to a background check.


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