The Elk Country Visitor Center is an educational facility which espouses conservation of natural resources, with an emphasis on elk and elk habitat in the PA Wilds.  The ECVC is a vanguard for implementing building practices which rely less on fossil fuels, more efficiently utilize water and other natural resources, and promote and model wise land stewardship practices.  These accomplishments have qualified the Elk Center as a LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) certification with a "Gold" designation.  The Center is run by the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a 501©(3) non-profit organization that has partnered with the PA DCNR to construct and operate the building and grounds.

The Elk Center, completed in the Fall of 2010, is located on Winslow Hill near the village of Benezette, PA.  It is a premier conservation educational facility which hosts school groups of all ages, as well as adult groups and scouting organizations, providing quality educational programs on elk, PA wildlife, LEED buildings, natural history of the region, and conservation in general.


Educational trips to The Center:
Our educational programs are not only age-appropriate and cross-curricular, but are aligned with the Pennsylvania State Education Standards.  Teachers and groups may opt to select the specific program topics and activities which best fulfill their classroom curriculum needs or scout merit badge requirements.
  We have had the pleasure of reaching over 20,000 individuals with our programs.

Educational programs on our LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) building are available.  Some of the topics explained are sustainable forest use, utilization of local “green” building materials, high R-Factor insulation, geothermal wells for heating and cooling, reduced light pollution system, minimal use of pavement, mini-wetlands and native plants kept on premises, and a “gray water” system which collects rain water for toilet flushing.

General informational presentations are also offered on all aspects of elk, including elk history, elk vocalizations, safe and responsible human etiquette when elk-watching, elk as ruminants, elk antlers, elk calves, and behavior of elk during the rut.  Visiting groups can enjoy these enlightening presentations in addition to such structured activities as Elk Facts Trivia Game, Elk Population Dynamics, Elk Poetry Writing, North American Deer Families, Measuring Elk Antlers, Aerial Surveying of Elk, Hands-On Discovery Activities, and other programs which teach a strong message of conservation and stewardship, as well as impart a broader global knowledge base on elk in general.  We look forward to hosting your group and providing you with an interesting and informative
educational presentation.  
Groups also get the opportunity to experience our 4D story theater.  They watch as three screens surrounding them explode with they history of Pennsylvania's elk herd and our efforts to bring them back to a successful and healthy herd.  2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the reintroduction of elk into Pennsylvania.  This wildlife success story is one that will keep you fascinated for the length of the show.  Surprises are happen throughout the show and will keep you coming back for more.  We look forward to your group being a part of our excitement.

 Our new ECCO (Elk Country Outdoors Campus) was recently completed.  This new state of art facility allows for up to 150 students to participate in educational activities.  Solid glass walls allow for an exceptional view of Pennsylvania's Elk Country while you learn about elk, conservation and all forms of wildlife and habitat. 

Making a difference with Distance Learning:
Teachers and students alike are very excited about the Keystone Elk Country Alliance’s innovative and interactive Distance Learning initiative.  Utilizing the unique marriage of the latest technology with hands-on, “physical” learning, our conservation education video conferencing experience for students continues to expand across Pennsylvania as more and more school districts and teachers learn about it and become aware of this
amazing learning opportunity.

As soon as the teacher at each participating school opens the lid of the large “Elk Traveling Trunk” to reveal all the treasures within, students elatedly become immersed in this multi-sensory learning adventure.  No other distance learning program offers this tactile interactive experience, which ignites enthusiasm and a sense of wonder for children of all ages.

We all enjoyed your skulls and the elk pelt you sent to us.  It felt like a real elk was in our classroom.”          Genalynn,  student

“Thank you for a wonderful and extremely informative program on elk.  The Skype conversation was great!  The elk trunk really helped to make it special.” Angela Homan,  teacher

“Thank you for letting us get to explore all the stuff you sent us.  It was awesome!  We admired it all the time.  I especially liked the antlers.  When it had to go, we all wanted to keep it.”    Anon, student

“I really like all the bones.  I also liked how you sent deer bones and elk bones so we could see the size difference.  Thank you for sending the stuff!” Raines, student

With the unique teaching style of this program, students become highly motivated to apply their new knowledge by sharing what they have learned with their parents and families.


“Awesome elk!....I went home and told my parents all about it!”    Anon, student

“Thank you for this fabulous opportunity.  I wish I could be in the 4th graders’ homes tonight to hear what they shared with their families.  One of my students and her family are planning to come to The Elk Center this weekend.  She is very excited to show her family what she has learned.”      Angela Homan,  teacher

Teachers are using the positive student momentum generated by our distance learning adventure to enhance other areas of their grade-level curriculum even after the elk traveling trunk moves on to another school.

“We are going to use “elk” as our topic for a lesson next week on text structure.  We will write paragraphs on elk using question/answer, compare and contrast, problem and solution, etc.”  Angela Homan,  teacher

So far KECA’s one-of-a-kind distance learning experience has positively impacted over 1,400 students in 22 Pennsylvania counties and also the states of New York, Virginia and Florida.   As this amazing program continues to expand, many more children will have the opportunity to cultivate a sense of connectedness to nature and especially to elk and their habitat.

“Thank you, Elk Country Alliance!”         Tara, student


Our Distance Learning program is made possible through the generous support of:

    
The Keystone Elk Country Alliance extends our sincere thanks to Shell, Dominion and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of SCI for their support.

For more information, or to bring your group to Elk Country, call our Conservation Education Department at 814-787-5173 or email info@keystoneelkcountryalliance.com  

Upcoming Events






VISITOR CENTER SEASONAL HOURS
June - August:
7 days a week 8am – 8pm
September – October:

7 Days a Week | 8am – 8pm
November – December:
Thursday – Monday | 9am – 5pm Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
January – March:

Saturday & Sunday Only | 9am – 5pm **Closed Easter Sunday
April – May:
Thursday – Monday | 9am – 5pm
(closed Tues & Wed)
**Closed Easter Sunday**