Lime Hollow Nature Center
Covered Bridge at the Lime Hollow Visitor Center

History of Lime Hollow


Lime Hollow (LH) was founded in 1993 as the Lime Hollow Nature Center, the culmination of efforts 20 years earlier to develop a nature preserve to protect an unusual assemblage of marl ponds, a peat bog, and kame-and-kettle topography along an abandoned railroad right-of-way in Lime Hollow, just west of the city of Cortland, NY.

Lime Hollow, through a renewable use agreement, began by utilizing 100 acres of land and two buildings belonging to the Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science of the US Geological Survey.

Lime Hollow purchased an additional 190 acres adjoining the Tunison property in 1998, partly funded with a grant from the NYS Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act. This area includes a four-acre beaver pond, open fields, and lush woodlands.

During 2002, the name of the Center was changed to Lime Hollow Center for Environment & Culture. A new logo was created to better express the mission of the Center, including an emphasis on providing cultural education opportunities in addition to our top-notch environmental education programs.

Lime Hollow opened a $1-million Visitor Center facility located on McLean Road in May of 2007. The new Visitor Center boasts a stunning central exhibit space, a bird education room, several modular educational displays, gift shop, staff offices, and numerous “green building” features. Outside, the center features a creek-side bird sanctuary and a “Trail for All” designed to give people with disabilities easy access to one of the center’s groomed trails.

In 2010 alone, Lime Hollow hosted 23,136 visitors and over 3,000 school children, who come with their classes for educational field trips led by trained, paid and volunteer naturalists.

Lime Hollow runs day camps (always at capacity) for children ages 3-14 for 10 weeks during each summer, as well as during winter and spring school vacations. These camps provide recreational and educational activities in a fun and safe environment.