Lehigh Gap Center

Lehigh Gap Nature Center – Osprey House

The Lehigh Gap Nature Center is a non-profit, member-run conservation organization located in the Lehigh Gap of Pennsylvania at the foot of the Kittatinny Ridge, between the towns of Slatington and Palmerton. In 2002, the Lehigh Gap Nature Center purchased over 750 acres on the Kittatinny Ridge, west of the Lehigh River in eastern Pennsylvania for a wild life refuge and wildlife education center. Much of the land was degraded by industrial pollution and is being restored using native, warm-season (prairie) grasses.

The refuge provides wildlife habitat and is the site for wildlife research, carried out by Center staff and volunteers, and in conjunction with local colleges and universities. It also serves as an outdoor classroom to support educational programs.

The Lehigh Gap Nature Center opened its visitor and education building, the Osprey House, to the public in 2010. The building including a visitor lobby, an information station, a multipurpose great hall, a research library, a classroom/laboratory, and restrooms was built with the principles and practices of sustainability. Built through the reuse of an old existing farm house, the addition is designed to allow integration of the old building into the new structure using efficient sustainable practices. The complete story can be found at http://lgnc.org.

Additional Information:

Specific “Green” Features of LGNC Visitor and Education Center

  • Super-insulated walls and ceilings
    • Insulated concrete forms for basement walls (R30)
    • 2″ x 8″ construction with 1″ spray foam + 6.5″ spray cellulose in walls
    • Ceilings with 1″ spray foam and 15+” of spray cellulose
    • Walls ~ R35 and ceilings ~R55
  • Geothermal Heat Pump HVAC
    • Zoned so each room on each level has thermostat
    • Programmable thermostats
    • D-Superheater connects heat pump to water heater
  • High efficiency lighting
    • Fluorescent bulbs where possible
    • Track lighting using CFLs
    • Exhibit lighting with LED bulbs
    • Occupancy sensors so lights are not left on accidentally
  • State of the art Stream Discharge Sewage Treatment system
    • Includes aeration tanks
    • 75% of effluent from filtration tank re-circulates through system
    • Potable water discharged into river
  • Green construction materials
    • Hardy board siding (composite made from cement and waste products)
    • Spray cellulose insulation is recycled newspaper
    • Low and no VOC paints
    • Slate from local quarry on lobby floor
    • Carpeting with 100% recycled backing and 35% recycled fiber
    • Dolomite tile in library
    • Trex composite decking made from wood waste
    • On-site boulders used in landscaping and driveway retaining wall
    • Educational habitat gardens with 100% native plants
  • Reuse of existing building
    • The addition is designed to allow integration of old building into new
    • Old building was gutted and made energy efficient
    • High Efficiency air-to air heat pump in old building
    • Walls framed out internally to allow for addition of 3.5″ fiberglass batts as additional insulation
    • 1″ foam sheeting added to ceilings to improve insulation
  • Storm water management
    • All roads and garden areas are pervious surfaces
    • Roof water collected in pond to maintain this educational feature of our landscaping
    • Demonstration living roof on old springhouse building
  • CollidEscape on windows to prevent bird strikes.

Contact Information:

Dan Kunkle, Executive Director
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
P.O. Box 198
Slatington, PA 18080
Email: danlgnc@ptd.net