Peterson Institute becomes part of JCC campus

JAMESTOWN – Two of the Jamestown area’s most outstanding organizations have created a closer partnership as the Jamestown Community College board of trustees approved a resolution which will make the Roger Tory Peterson Institute an official part of the JCC Jamestown Campus.

In board action, the trustees approved a resolution authorizing the acceptance of a gift of real property including RTPI’s 27-acre property and 28,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the college campus on Curtis Street.

RTPI was established in 1984 to foster understanding, appreciation and protection of the natural world by honoring and continuing the work of Jamestown native and acclaimed naturalist and artist Roger Tory Peterson. While the institute’s original offices were located within JCC’s Hamilton Collegiate Center, RTPI moved to its current location adjacent to the campus in 1993.

“JCC has worked closely with RTPI since the institute was created,” said JCC President Gregory T. DeCinque. “As we share a commitment to education and a passion for the natural world around us, it is most appropriate to realize an even greater synergy by strengthening our partnership. Our intent is to capitalize on the strengths of both institutions and open the door to as yet undefined new program directions. “

Making RTPI facilities part of the campus itself will allow greater use by JCC’s credit science students, including those in the recently approved associate degree program in environmental science. The two entities also envision enhanced non-credit offerings for students of all ages as well as the continued development of professional opportunities for teachers.

RTPI will continue to operate on the premises as an independent, non-profit organization with its own board of directors though a 30-year, no fee lease agreement.

Several area foundations have expressed support for the transition of the facilities, and others will be considering requests for support later this summer.