Press Release

November 20, 2019

Wildlife for Everyone Foundation Receives DCNR Grant - Moves Wetlands Project Forward

State College, PA – The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation received a $250,000 Recreation and Conservation grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) last week for development of the Tom Ridge Wetlands in Huston Township, Centre County. The first phase of the project will feature an ADA accessible boardwalk trail, observation areas, accessible fishing platform, pavilion, restrooms, parking area and interpretive signage. The DCNR funding builds on the $250,000 grant received from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in 2018. Levine Engineering, LLC, Altoona, is providing project management services.

The wetlands natural area will present recreational opportunities for all persons regardless of physical limitation. Activities like trail walking or wheeling, wildlife viewing, fishing, birding, photography and picnicking will draw visitors to the wetlands to connect with nature and experience the restorative benefits that it offers. There will be full accessibility, from the parking lot to every element of the natural area. Changing interpretive signage will present educational opportunities to learn about the various ecosystems that exist on the property.

Stream restoration of Bald Eagle Creek, which borders the property, was completed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in July. The restoration of 600 feet of the creek improved fish habitat where the accessible fishing platform will be constructed and reduced bank erosion.

"This project is important for a number of reasons," comments Susan Hawthorne, Executive Director of the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation. "The ADA accessible trails will mean everyone, regardless of age or physical limitation, will be able to enjoy the restorative qualities nature offers in the wetlands. Whether a person wants to hike, fish from the pier, sit and relax in a serene setting, bird and nature watch, or take pictures of wildlife, the wetlands natural area will offer all of this and more. At the same time, these valuable wetlands are being cared for and conserved for the wildlife which depends upon them," adds Hawthorne.

About the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation was established in 2004 to provide all wildlife enthusiasts with a way to show their commitment through much-needed financial support for wildlife conservation efforts and education. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars to support projects including wildlife and wetland habitat improvements, creek and lake restorations, the Seedlings for Schools and Pollinator Garden programs and student educational opportunities. A fully accessible wetlands area that will provide residents of central Pennsylvania with an outdoor learning space and nature observatory that offers everyone an opportunity to connect with nature, is planned for 2020. The Foundation's mission connects all wildlife and nature enthusiasts to the great outdoors, including birders, hunters, anglers, students and everyone with an appreciation for nature's treasures. For more information, visit

[ Return to News ]