Looking into 2020:
Environmental Education Project
Wetland Restoration Project
The purpose of the wetland restoration project is to restore the function of the wetland areas allowing for the filtering out of pollution and contaminated run-off. The project will involve the excavation and removal of the non-native invasive plants (phragmites) and the construction of a device allowing the water to pool in the wetlands.
A healthy, functioning wetland will improve water quality in the lower Shenango River Watershed and will provide a safe aquatic habitat for our fish and wildlife. The entire project will include construction of a nature trail, a boardwalk, observation decks, and educational signage. When complete, this project will allow the public, and more specifically, our environmental education community, an opportunity to learn about the function and importance of wetlands.
Environmental Education Building
The Environmental Education Building will be a multipurpose space with sufficient tables, seating and durable floor surfaces that would stand up to heavy traffic as well as messy activities and ample storage. The building will have movable walls for partitions and displays, as well as large doors that could be opened to provide a unique indoor/outdoor space. Restrooms and sinks will be ADA compliant, designed to accommodate school groups, and allow for easy clean-up. Access will be available to Sandy’s Place, the park’s outdoor classroom as well as access to the nearby nature trails through the Meadow and connecting to the Buhl Park Nature Trail.
There are six school districts within 5 miles of the park, therefore the building will need to be around 3,200 square feet to accommodate the average size of school field trips groups. Schools in the area are in need of local, affordable field trip options and Buhl Park is in a unique position to offer educational programs to supplement state curriculum. Estimated building costs for an Environmental Education Building and expansion to the parking lot are still being determined.
Activities Building Renovations
Over the years, the Activities Building has been home to many park programs and private events, and is an important part of the Park’s history. The building was last renovated in 1989 and is in desperate need of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades. The aging roof and HVAC equipment are overdue for replacement. The building, including the restrooms, is not wheelchair accessible but can be made inclusive with major improvements.
As a nonprofit organization, Buhl Park relies heavily on rental income to fund multiple park operations and the Activities Building is an increasing source of rental income for the park during peak season. It is rented throughout the week and every weekend and serves as a space for public programs, field trips and the park’s summer camp. For the past two years, this dual-purpose building has been functioning to accommodate the rentals and multiple programs offered.
As the park’s educational programs grow and rental demand increases, it is now becoming immensely difficult to balance between two very different but necessary purposes. A dedicated environmental education building would allow the Activities Building to function solely as a rental space and be renovated to maximize that purpose.
Will you partner with us to bring this project to life? Please consider making a donation to this endeavor:
Donate securely by clicking HERE
Mail a check to Buhl Park Corporation: 715 Hazen Rd. Hermitage, PA 16148
Buhl Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, relying solely on community support to continue providing value to visitors and to the region. We appreciate your help.