CRESTVIEW Crestview Kiwanis Club members and city officials invite the public to share ideas and suggestions for refurbishment of the John McMahon Environmental Center.


CRESTVIEW Crestview Kiwanis Club members and city officials invite the public to share ideas and suggestions for refurbishment of the John McMahon Environmental Center.



The Kiwanis Club received City Council approval to spearhead master planning and fundraising for the project, which could result in the city-owned park's first major refurbishment.



The center's landmark, unused fire tower and former ranger's cottage have been slated for demolition under a preliminary refurbishment plan suggested by the Kiwanis Club with local CH2MHill officials providing engineering services.



An education facility housing the park's natural history museum and classrooms would replace them if the recommendation is approved.



Other suggestions include adding a children's playground in what is now a little-used storage area and replacing the current museum with an outdoor amphitheater.



The public can attend a Feb. 22 open house to visit the park and its local natural history museum and offer recommendations for improvements, Kiwanis Club member Betsy Roy said. Complimentary hamburgers and hotdogs will be served.



The McMahon Center, which opened in 1979, was the brainchild of retired forester John McMahon and was facilitated by a $5,000 Florida Department of Education grant.



It is located on land donated by the state Forestry Division, and contains examples of nearly 100 trees and shrubs native to Northwest Florida.



The site is a regular destination for area student groups for nature and environmental studies, as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts  undertaking Eagle and Gold rank projects.



WANT TO GO?



WHAT: Open house and community input session with complimentary lunch



WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 22



WHERE: John McMahon Environmental Center, 130 Butler Circle, Crestview



DETAILS: Kiwanis Club members and city officials welcome public ideas and suggestions for refurbishment of the environmental center. Contact Jim Lundy, jimlundy3742@yahoo.com, or Betsy Roy, emmiller@cox.net, to give input



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.