U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


National Conservation Training Center

“We wanted a place that would lower stress and make people comfortable enough to share ideas. Not a day goes by when I do not get a favorable comment on the design of the facility.”

—Rick Lemon, Director, National Conservation Training Facility


On a site known by locals as "the old Hendrix farm," the Fish & Wildlife Service set out to develop a campus devoted to instructional and residential programs for the study of wildlife and habitat conservation. The Training Center designed by SmithGroupJJR does more than merely occupy the site and serve the program's needs: its 18 separate buildings are themselves an example of habitat conservation.

Compatible with the existing 18th-century farms and natural resources, the facilities have been scaled and profiled to match the local vernacular. Every aspect of development reinforces the connection of the campus to the site and local heritage. The most important aspect, however, may be the choice to create a large number of smaller buildings as opposed to a few massive ones.

Nestled within a sustainable site plan that incorporates an interpretive trail system and re-establishes meadows and hedgerows, the comforting, green-built structures house lodgings, classrooms, conference and exhibit areas, exercise facilities, child care, laundry and more. The commons area completes the campus with dining, lounge and library facilities.

Related Content

National Conservation Center Website
Link to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Conservation Center website

U.S. Fish & Wildlife
School Design profiles the National Conservation Center