Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek
The Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC) at Crooked Creek's mission is to provide an engaging experience to discover nature through education, recreation and outreach.
ABOUT THE ODC:
The ODC is operated by the Armstrong Center for Community Learning, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The ACCL leases the ODC and 30 acres surrounding the building from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The ODC includes a meeting room that holds 40 people, a lodge-style great room with fireplace, full kitchen, and overnight accommodations for 24+ people. Displayed inside the building is an extensive collection of mounted animals including raptors and other birds, large and small mammals, snakes and fish. The ODC also features an outdoor classroom, nature trails including an interpretive trail, poetry trail, handicap accessible trail, pollinator garden, outdoor volleyball court, fire pit and picnic areas with charcoal grills.
Located adjacent to the ODC is the 2,600 acre Crooked Creek Lake Recreation Area. The park includes a 400-acre lake for boating, fishing and swimming, sand beach, seven miles of nature trails, equine trail, horse park, disc golf course, playgrounds, etc.
The ODC offers a variety of educational programming for people at every age. The following programs are offered for youth:
- Knee High to Nature Program - a free program for elementary ages. Each 2 hour session includes a variety of fun, hands-on nature activities, games and crafts.
- Field Trips - available throughout the school year for K-12 schools and boy/girl scout troops. To learn more about our field trip opportunities, email Rachel Filippini, ODC Program Coordinator at [email protected], or call 724-543-2599.
- Summer Camps - nature-themed day camps with engaging activities.
- Youth Water Quality Education & Engagement - high school students learn the importance of clean water, impacts to water quality, and how to mitigate pollution.
- Armstrong County Envirothon - the ODC hosts county-wide Envirothon competitions.
- Monthly nature lessons for elementary age homeschool students
The ODC also offers a variety of nature and recreational activities and workshops for the general public, including mushroom identification hikes, nature journaling, forest bathing, intro to snowshoeing and cross country skiing, etc. The ACCL/ODC is the coordinator for the Armstrong PA Master Naturalist certification program for adults.
For information on upcoming events at the ODC, click here!
The ODC actively engages in cooperative educational programs with many area organizations and individuals including educational agencies and institutions, conservation agencies, grassroots environmental organizations, local businesses, and private citizens.
For a list of educational links and partners, click here!
Organized groups can rent the ODC for programs, workshops, meetings and retreats. For more information about facility rental and availability, call 724-543-2599 ext. 222 or email [email protected].
Rental rates are as follows:
- $75/half day
- $200/1 night (1-12 people)
- $400/2 nights (1-12 people)
- $300/1 night (13-24 people)
- $600/2 nights (13-24 people)
Customized nature, outdoor and environmental programming is available for an additional fee.
DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION:
The ODC relies on public donations, grants, user fees, and sponsors to sustain operation. Help us realize our mission by making a donation or sponsoring one of our programs. For more information, call 724-543-2599.
Memorial Benches at the ODC - For your contribution to the ODC, a bench with a name plate with your inscription will be placed at the ODC. For details, Click Here!
Giving Tree at the ODC - For your contribution to the ODC, a bronze, silver or golf leaf can be placed on the Giving Tree located inside the ODC. A Foundation Stone can also be placed under the Giving Tree. For details, please call 724-543-2599 ext. 221.
Take Route 66 south. Travel 6 miles. Turn left onto Crooked Creek Dam Road (SR2019). Travel 0.5 miles. Turn left onto Kerr Road (T670). Travel 0.25 miles. The ODC is located at the end of Kerr Road.
From Leechburg or Apollo
Take Route 66 or Alt Route 66 North. Travel 8 miles. Turn right onto Crooked Creek Dam Road (SR2019). Travel 0.5 miles. Turn left onto Kerr Road (T670). Travel 0.25 miles. The ODC is located at the end of Kerr Road.
Please note that if you are using a GPS device or Internet maps, please use the following coordinates: N40 degrees 42.970′ W79 degrees 31.003′. If you use the address alone, the GPS will take you to the wrong destination. We recommend following our directions and using the GPS / Internet maps as a guide only.