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New York Power Authority
N.Y. Power Authority Opens New State-of-the-Art Nature Center in North Country Named After Judge Eugene L. Nicandri



May 15, 2017

The New York Power Authority announced the grand opening and dedication of its new, state-of-the-art Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center at Robert Moses State Park in Massena, N.Y. The new facility will provide science and nature education in indoor and outdoor settings for the public, including school and community groups. The Center is named for Nicandri, vice chair of the NYPA Board of Trustees and longtime Massena community leader, who championed the effort to build the new center.

Representatives from the New York Power Authority, including its Board of Trustees; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center organization joined with local officials in Massena today for a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony.

"Judge Nicandri has been a staunch advocate on behalf of this community and I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor," said NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel. "It's entirely fitting that this new and beautiful building bear Judge Nicandri's name. We're confident this center will become an invaluable resource for visitors and residents of the North Country, and a tremendous source of local pride."

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, "Judge Nicandri has worked tirelessly to ensure a bright future for the Nature Center as a place to learn about the North Country, its natural resources, and environmental stewardship. Today we honor Judge Nicandri, his dedication to this community, and his role at the Power Authority by enshrining his name on this beautiful building. We look forward to seeing this building become a vital community resource for many years to come."

The 9,500-square-foot single-story building includes exhibit space, reflecting the four major habitats found within the park - wetlands/marshes, rivers, woodlands and meadows - as well as classrooms and office space. The facility also will serve as a send-out station for visitors who wish to hike the many marked trails in the park and an equipment rental depot for those that are interested in renting snowshoes, cross-country skis and other outdoor equipment.

The original Nature Center which previously stood on the same ground as the new center was destroyed in a March 2010 fire. The non-profit group, Friends of the Robert Moses Nature Center, then stepped in to help oversee its programs and exhibits, which continued in temporary facilities with NYPA assuming operating costs. In 2015, NYPA awarded a contract to the Watertown firm of Bette Cring, LLC, for the construction of the new facility. Design and construction of the facility cost the Power Authority approximately $12 million. 

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said: "The Nicandri Nature Center deepens the experience and enjoyment at Robert Moses State Park and in this wonderful and treasured part of New York State. Nature Centers in the state park system serve a vital role as they are educational resources that lead to understanding, appreciating and preserving New York's natural environment. May this center invite all to experience nature and to learn and love what is around us, especially the younger generation, so that they may be our environmental stewards of tomorrow. Thank you New York Power Authority, Friends of Robert Moses State Park and all of our partners for this fantastic new adventure."

"Thank you to the Power Authority for rebuilding this facility in such style," said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri. "It's a great honor to have such an interactive space and beautifully-designed building bear my name. It is especially meaningful, because I know firsthand how much this facility means to this community."

"After many years of working toward the goal of restoring this great community asset, I am honored and humbled to see this building standing before us today," said Richard Marshall, president of the Friends of Robert Moses State Park Nature Center. "We owe a great debt of thanks to the Power Authority and Judge Nicandri in particular for taking on this cause and creating this beautiful facility."

The Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center was constructed with green-building design features to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The design elements include geothermal heat pumps for cooling and heating, outside air intake and heat recovery, a rainwater reclamation system, outside rain gardens, efficiency lighting systems and sustainable material selection to enhance indoor environmental quality.

Click here for short video about the new center. Visit NYPA's Flickr page for exterior and interior photos of the building. To learn more, visit the Robert Moses State Park - Thousand Islands website.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

Contact:
NYPA Media Relations:
914-681-6770

Maura Balaban
maura.balaban@nypa.gov

C: 914-646-6016, O: 914-390-8171

For more information:

Organization:
New York Power Authority (NYPA)

Address:
123 Main St
White Plains, New York
United States, 10601-3170
www.nypa.gov
Tel: 914-681-6200


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