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New nature center opens at Letchworth

CASTILE – The new $6.75 million year-round nature center at Letchworth State Park has opened, State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey announced Monday. It has been named the Humphrey Nature Center in honor of a family that has been active in operations of the park since it was established more than 100 years ago.

The 5,000-square-foot center near Trailside Lodge south of the Castile entrance to the park includes interactive nature exhibits, meeting and classroom space, radiant floor heating and a rain water cistern that helps irrigate the nearby butterfly garden.

Peter G. Humphrey, chairman of the Genesee Region Parks Commission since 1995, headed the $3.2 million capital campaign to help build the center and represents the third generation of his family to play a major role in park management. His grandfather, Wolcott J. Humphrey, chaired the committee that oversaw the park after William Pryor Letchworth deeded the land New York State in 1906 and later was the first chairman of the Genesee State Park Commission. His father, Wolcott J. Humphrey Jr., also chaired the commission.