Located along Westerly Parkway in the Borough of State College is a two and a half acre stormwater detention basin that intercepts much of the stormwater from the southwest part of the Borough and a portion of Ferguson Township. This water is detained after a large rain event to allow the lower reaches of the watershed to drain away before this portion of water from the upper reaches of the watershed is released, allowing a more constant flow downstream. The facility—including three and a half surrounding, fenced off acres—functions as designed, but does little to improve the environment or aesthetics in this area.
With financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, trails, benches, educational signage and plantings were added to the site.
With the help of many volunteers and countless hours by Public Works staff, Butterfly gardens, upland wetlands and lowland wetlands were established.
Rather than restricting public access, the Borough will encourage the public to use the facility, that is, except during significant rain events when the site will be flooded. The Westerly Parkway Wetland Education Center opened to the public on May 9, 2012 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.