It is with mixed emotions that we announce that the wonderful Visitor Center at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area will be closing on Sunday, October 27, 2019 for the entire winter. Not only will the center itself be closed, but the bathrooms, which are normally accessible to the hiking public whenever the parking lot gate is open, will also be closed and locked, as water and electricity will be turned off to the entire building for several months.
The good news is that the Soldiers Delight Visitor Center is finally getting a brand new, long overdue and desperately needed heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. For the past several years, our current HVAC system has not functioned properly, leaving staff, volunteers, visitors and our beloved animal ambassadors sweltering during the summer months and freezing during the winter, necessitating the use of portable fans and space heaters, respectively, at a great cost in electricity.
With the building and parking lot completely closed to the public, the mechanical engineers and HVAC installers will be able to work far more efficiently as they take the old system out and install the new one. We are very excited that this significant improvement is finally coming to our center.
For the duration, all of our animals are being moved into the Soldiers Delight aviary, which is a separate building that will continue to be climate-controlled. While the aviary is not open to the public, fans of Soldiers Delight and the Scales & Tales program should take heart in the knowledge that these months out of public view will allow more time for our naturalists to acclimate our animal ambassadors with humans, so that when nature programming resumes in the spring, our Scales & Tales avians, reptiles and herps will be even better suited to interacting with visitors during nature programming.
At the moment we don't know what the spring opening date will be. So keep checking our website for updates! And happy winter to you all.