Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Middle Creek Wildlife Area Remains Open During Project

The snow geese and tundra swans likely won’t notice, but a construction project underway at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon and Lancaster counties– a destination for thousands of tourists each winter – might catch visitors by surprise.
The Game Commission is installing a new geothermal HVAC system at the Middle Creek Visitors Center, and the project has introduced many construction vehicles and much digging activity to the site.
Appearances aside, there’s little impact on visitors.
The property, including the visitors center, remains open as usual during the project, and no public programs will be disrupted. But during this busy time of year at Middle Creek, when tourists flock to the site to view almost unimaginable numbers of snow geese, as well as other waterfowl, birds and wildlife, the construction is going to attract some attention.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of March.
When it’s finished, the heating and cooling for the 9,000-square-foot visitors center will be provided by an ultra-efficient HVAC system. The Game Commission anticipates the system will cut energy costs for the building by about 30 percent.
Funding for the $308,500 geothermal project was provided by grants made available through the federal Pittman-Robertson Act.
Pittman-Robertson funds are generated by a federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, and are allocated to the states by formula to be used for specific purposes. The Game Commission previously completed a lighting project, an insulation project and a roofing project at the Middle Creek Visitors Center using Pittman-Robertson funds.
The geothermal system being installed will circulate water through 20 wells; each is 300 feet deep. The system is completely isolated from the groundwater on site, and won’t have any impact on the water table or Middle Creek Lake.
For more information, visit the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area webpage.

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