New refuge HQ taking shape

A new headquarters building for Willapa National Wildlife Refuge continues taking shape at the east end of 67th Street near the south end of Willapa Bay. Formally called a Natural Resource Center, the surrent work is the first phase of a plan to eventually add a visitor center with an environmental education/event room, exhibits and a nature store. South 67th Street between Sandridge Road and the new headquarters site is slated for major renovations as a corollary to the project. The refuge, totaling 11,000 acres or more than 17 square miles, consists of diverse and rich wildlife habitat including Leadbetter Point and extensive lands wrapping around Willapa Bay’s south shore and Long Island. Its current headquarters, a converted private residence located just east of Long Island on U.S. Highway 101, has long been inadequate. Plans to move it closer to the Long Beach Peninsula population center have been talked about for nearly a decade.

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