The City of Henderson has one of southern Nevada’s hidden gems. Unknown to most locals and tourists, the City of Henderson Bird Viewing preserve is frequented by birders that seek out special bird habitats. The City of Henderson is poised to change its Bird Viewing Preserve’s brand to a more highly visible and accessible attraction.
The Preserve is located east of Boulder Highway between Galleria Drive and what will be the extension of Russell Road. During the 90s, Henderson’s wastewater treatment plant decommissioned its ponds and left nine of the ponds filled. These ponds became a desirable habitat for many bird species as they seasonally migrate north for the summer and south for the winter. The various depths and characteristics of the ponds contribute to the different bird’s habitat favorability. Some of them have more reed coverage for nesting and protection, while others offer more water surface area and better orientation for take-off and landing patterns. All of the ponds have walkable trails around them and bird blinds scattered throughout for visitor observation and photography.
The concept for the new Visitor’s Center incorporated the theme of flight. By responding to the characteristics of the site, the form of the building took the shape of a bird’s wings stretched out over the ponds in the moment just before lifting their feet out of the water taking off for flight. These “wings” of the building provide protection and shade for the reclaimed wooden deck. The deck stretches over the ponds to provide a more immersive experience for the patrons.