• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Stokes Nature Center looking for new Logan Canyon home

August 22nd, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & Photos by Michael Doxey

The Stokes Nature Center in Logan Canyon is hoping for a new home to increase programs and access.

Since 1997, the nature center has occupied an 86-year-old, 3,000-square-foot log cabin lodge on U.S. Forest Service land below Second Dam on the south side of Logan River, about a mile into the canyon. Now the center is examining options to move upstream onto the Hwy. 89 side of the river, which would make the center more accessible, and permit expanded programming.

The current facility was originally an American Legion lodge and later used by the Boy Scouts. It fell into disrepair, and was taken over by Logan’s First Presbyterian Church, which donated it in 1996 to create a center honoring longtime Logan residents and naturalists Allen and Alice Stokes.

To get to the existing facility, patrons must park at the bottom of the river trail or across Hwy. 89, and walk three quarters of a mile from the parking area, which accommodates only a few vehicles.

On the table is a plan created last year by students in the USU landscape architecture program for a new home near Second Dam. In the design for the new center, students considered the center’s educational purpose, parking, and recreational opportunities currently offered by the center.

Center Executive Director Holly Strand said the organization will apply for a $1 million to $2 million federal “scenic byways” grant to build the new facility.

Stokes staffer Anna Paul said another option is for the center to remodel some city-owned homes at second damn if a new one cannot be built.

Logan Mayor Randy Watts is a booster for the new construction plan. “I’m excited now that there are other people getting excited,” he said.

The Stokes Nature Center is a private nonprofit that seeks to educate the public on a variety of nature programs. At the center there are nature displays, plant and animal exhibits, and live animals in aquariums that visitors can get up close and personal with.

The center has various exhibits that feature activities ranging from games and hikes to learn about the nature of Logan Canyon, to animal bones and skulls.

Paul, the Stokes staffer, said one of her favorite things that the center offers are the summer youth programs. “It’s just really cute seeing all of the little kids learning about science and nature,” Paul said.

A new, expanded facility would provide additional areas for instruction, more exhibits, and would allow better accessibility and greatr awareness of this resource in Logan Canyon.

To donate to the Stokes Nature Center, or for more information about programs, go to the website at http://www.logannature.org/. Find pictures of the proposed new buildings designed by USU students at http://www.logannature.org/laep.html.


Tags: , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.