U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Visitor Center

Project at a Glance

Shirley, NY


C&S Architects



Project Type

New Construction

Project Overview

  • Extensive site grading and geothermal pump system
  • Interactive exhibit hall with environmental classroom

Committed to managing and conserving habitat for wildlife, the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of seven national wildlife refuges, two refuge sub-units and one wildlife management area. Collectively, the ten units span approximately 6,500 acres; each unit unique and providing a wildlife oasis amongst Long Island’s urban settings essential for the livelihood of migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, fish and other wildlife.

Located at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is the visitor center and administrative headquarters, a 17,000 sq. ft. building replete with interactive exhibits, multi-purpose room for programs and services and office space for employees, other service programs and partner organizations. In keeping with the organization’s roots in conservation, many green building technologies were employed during construction. For instance, a geothermal pump system to minimize the use of fossil fuels in heating and cooling the building by circulating water regulated by the earth’s constant temperature of 50º to 60ºF ten feet below the surface. Stormwater is managed using permeable pavement and retention basins to prevent run-off and to be used to irrigate native plant gardens and solar panels generate a portion of the building’s electricity.