The Nature Of It: Tanglewood History Part Two

The Nature of It

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Throughout the years, the mission of the Tanglewood Nature Center has always stayed the same. To educate and promote the awareness and preservation of our natural enviornment.

In the late 1990s, the board members of Tanglewood recognized the need to expand into a larger building. This is where plans for the “New Tanglewood” were developed.

During the beginning years of Tanglewood they were teaching around 2,500 children, that number has grown to over 25,000 today.

The layout of this new center would include an auditorium, capable of holding 200 people, numerous exhibits of both mounted and live species, a lodge, office space for the volunteers and so much more.

“We had a fundraising drive of one point eight million, which not only paid for the building but also for preparation for the site,” said Dean Butts, Tanglewood Board Member.

Constuction for this new site began in 2001, which included the new building, lodge, and two ponds. The board members decided to run the buildings on clean renewable energy. Solar panels were placed on the South side of the lodge, which produce clean energy for the nature center.

The “New Tanglewood” opened it’s doors to the public in 2003. One item that’s similar to the “Old Tanglewood” was an observation beehive built by John Slechta.

“Kids can go through and actually see the workings and the interior of the hive and watch the bees go out a little clear tube to do some harvesting,” said Bridget Sharry, Community Relations Manager at Tanglewood Nature Center.

Sharry also mentioned that this was a nice connection between the Runey Building and the new building at Gleason Meadows.

Adults who once attended Tanglewood as a child, now have children who participate in programs and attend camps.

“I supported Tanglewood and came to camp and now I get to support Tanglewood as an adult,” Lauren Little, former Tanglewood camper. Little’s seven-year-old daughter has attended camp the past two years and can’t wait to come back next year.

Although the site of the “Old Tanglewood” is closed to the public, the memories and experiences will always be cherished.

“Memories of the “Old Tanglewood” it was very rustic and rural. I enjoyed taking our children up to wonder around through the woods,” said Ralph Moore.

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