Dedication of Wetlands Park Nature Center Saturday
Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and the departments of Parks and Recreation and Real Property Management invite the public to attend the grand opening and dedication of the new Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 20.
The 45,000-square-foot-complex features an 8,335-square-foot exhibit gallery, an 85-seat auditorium and information center in the heart of Wetlands Park, Clark County’s largest and most rustic park. “With the opening of the Nature Center, Clark County Wetlands Park is a must-see destination for visitors of all ages," said Commissioner Giunchigliani, whose Commission District E includes the park. “Our new Nature Center offers many interactive exhibits that children and adults alike will enjoy. It also gives the public the opportunity to enjoy a full experience when they explore the park and learn about its unique place as part of our local history and desert ecosystem.”
The 2,900-acre Clark County Wetlands Park is located at 7050 Wetlands Park Lane, about 1 mile east of Boulder Highway off Tropicana Avenue. The dedication ceremony will be held on the raised observation deck near the new exhibit gallery. The deck features panoramic views of the 210-acre Nature Preserve, which has six miles of hiking trails and is home to approximately 212 species of birds and more than 70 species of mammals and reptiles. Clark County Wetlands Park was envisioned in the 1990s and formally created in 2001 during the building boom to preserve natural wetlands and habitat area, improve water quality and control erosion along the Las Vegas Wash. Reclaimed water from the Las Vegas urban area flows through Wetlands Park and allows a permanent plant community to thrive.
The Nature Center Exhibit Gallery, a centerpiece of the complex, features colorful and educational exhibits. At the entrance a giant butterfly and other native insects fly overhead on a solar-powered conveyor belt. Visitors can guess the smell of plants and animals at one exhibit and learn how to distinguish among different types of animal droppings at another. Other activities teach visitors how to create food chains, read animal tracks and match eggs with the animals that laid them. The Critter Crawl area features a 12-foot snake, ride-on dragon fly and a large coot nest children can climb into.
In addition to bringing interactive learning experiences to Wetlands Park, the Nature Center was designed to meet gold-level Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Eco-friendly construction elements include insulation made partly from shredded blue jeans, maximized use of natural lighting, and bamboo flooring harvested from sustainable forests. A nature store inside the gallery and a café nearby are scheduled to open in the future. The Nature Center is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. Outdoor park hours are dawn to dusk.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 42 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.