Wildlife Conservation Center Update 01.30.18

Jan 30, 2018

Since mid-April of 2017, Summit Construction has had the privilege of building The Joseph J. and Helen M. Sommer Wildlife Conservation Center.   This new 9,400 square foot wildlife rehabilitation center and exterior enclosure is equipped with 12 rooms, including an animal clinic, a classroom, exhibition space and exam rooms for injured wildlife. 

Prior to this facility, creatures like hawks, toads, snakes, lizards, possums, owls and red fox were all being taken care of at temporary facilities with limited space.  With the new wildlife center complete, these animals will now have plenty of room, with minimal risk of misadvised interaction with other species.  “It’ll be a more healthy environment with no overcrowding or predators and prey getting too close to each other,” said Caitlin Decker, marketing assistant of State Parks.

The new facility also includes more accommodating features to caretakers and staff like restrooms and additional space.  

At this point in time, final punch list items are being checked, owner and training demonstrations are being performed and final inspections of the building are taking place.  The new facility is well on its way to completion.

“The Wildlife Conservation Center is named for Joseph Sommer, a former Stark Parks commissioner and Ohio Department of Natural Resources director.  Contributions he made toward the new wildlife center were in the name of his wife, Helen.” (Grazier,

Thank you for this opportunity, Stark Parks, and we wish you the best of luck with all your incoming fluffy, furry, scaly, warm and cold-blooded patients alike. 

For more information on the Joseph J. and Helen M. Sommer Wildlife Conservation Center, visit