TOWN OF UNION, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The exhibit building at Finch Hollow Nature Center is closing and all of its programming moved elsewhere.
Cornell Cooperative Extension has been operating Finch Hollow for several years, and using it as a base for 4-H programming.
Broome County officials say the structure requires repair and upgrades costing $330,000.
So, the decision has been made to relocate that programming to county parks.
Much of Finch Hollow’s 4-H programs had already moved outdoors during the pandemic.
Finch Hollow was created in 1969 as a flood retarding dam and an outdoor environmental teaching laboratory.
Broome County built it with the help of the Broome Soil and Water Conservation District, and owns nearly 18 acres including trails and the flood control pond.
However, the front portion of the property that fronts Oakdale Road and the building are owned by the Johnson City School District.
The county says the structure needs an electrical upgrade, has water infiltration and mold, needs a fire alarm system and is not ADA compliant.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar tells NewsChannel 34 that the nature trail section will continue to be treated like other county properties that are part of the flood control system.
It will allow passive recreation such as hiking and fishing but will not be supervised or maintained like a park.
JC Schools says it only learned last week about the county’s intention to vacate and hasn’t yet determined plans for the property.