Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary

Harrisburg, PA

Designed with environmental responsibility as a key criterion, the 12,000 SF Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center at Wildwood Lake Sanctuary was designed collaboratively with the friends of Wildwood and Dauphin County Department of Parks & Recreation.

A reclaimed former dumping area adjacent to the southern tributary of the Paxton Creek, the site is part of a largely preserved wetlands area used for environmental education and recreation as part of the Dauphin County Department of Parks and Recreation. The building houses nature exhibits, an observation deck, meeting space, classrooms, offices (for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Audubon Society leases space) and orientation space for studying and exploring the wetlands.

The Building Committee of the Friends of Wildwood directed that any site development be the least intrusive on the site as possible. Provisions for pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle traffic are designed to retain existing site features. The building was sized and sited to blend into the landscape. The facility is designed to be as energy efficient as possible and use environmentally responsive concepts, materials and technologies such as sustainable, recycled, and non-toxic building materials, photovoctaics, and low-use water fixtures.


Awards & Certifications

AIA Honors Award For Design Excellence

National Association of County parks and Recreation Officials Outstanding Award—Parks and Recreation Facilities Class III 2000

Citation from the American Society of Landscape Architects—Board Walk System

Project Specifications

New Construction


Square Footage

Sustainable Design – Smart Design

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