During the late 1960's and early 1970's, several people in the Tioga County, New York community were concerned about the loss of wildlife habitat space.
Lolita Waterman, a member of the committee, offered to donate a portion of her family farm to the project under the condition that the property be forever managed as a nature center, and that it be named for her late husband, Fred L Waterman.
After several years of work by a dedicated group of volunteers who worked to establish a variety of wildlife food and cover plots, a building was acquired for the center. The former Faith Lutheran Church building and parking lot became the interpretative building for Waterman Center.
Waterman Conservation Education Center's property on Hilton Road has been improved to include a system of nature trails that wind their way through the property allowing visitors to examine and enjoy trees, grasses, wildlife tracks, nesting boxes, and a gorge with a stream. The interpretative building houses a museum where visitors will find numerous exhibits and interpretative displays about local wildlife. The museum building also houses the Center's Nature Shop, classroom space, a reference library and offices. Surrounding the museum are the Lolita Waterman Wildlife Gardens. These gardens were designed to help landowners learn how to incorporate native plantings into their own landscape plans. The gardens also help visitors learn how to attract wildlife to their yards.
Waterman's main site on Hilton Road houses an interpretive center with a museum, live animal residents, a reference library, gift shop, educational displays and classroom space, all of which are open to the public:
Weekdays from 9 to 4
Saturday from 10 to 4
Closed on Sundays.