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April 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM

State park takes on sponsor of new learning center: oil giant BP

Corporate sponsorship — and naming — is coming to Washington’s cash-strapped state parks, in the form of the company that is currently on trial in New Orleans to determine blame for the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

An artist's rendering of the new environmental education center planned for Birch Bay State Park, to be named for oil giant BP, which is contributing to its cost. (rendering courtesy Friends of Birch Bay State Park)

An artist’s rendering of Birch Bay State Park’s new environmental education center, to be named for oil giant BP, which is contributing almost half its cost. (Drawing courtesy of Friends of Birch Bay State Park)

The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission today invited the public to an April 20 groundbreaking for the new BP Heron Center of Environmental Education, to be built at Whatcom County’s Birch Bay State Park. BP’s nearby Cherry Point Refinery contributed $105,000 to the project.

The project’s aim is to provide a regional environmental learning center for classes and groups studying Terrell Creek, the Birch Bay marine environment and a nearby colony of great blue herons. The center also will serve as a rental facility for weddings, reunions and other gatherings.

The projected total cost is $236,000, with additional support coming from Alcoa Intalco Works, which gave $25,000, along with Friends of Birch Bay State Park and other local donors.

Construction is expected to begin in September with a completion goal of summer 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments | More in Northwest, Outdoors | Topics: Birch Bay State Park, BP, British Petroleum

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