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Study planned for visitors center for Great Dismal Swamp

In this Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 photo, Chris Lowie, refuge manager Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, gestures as he looks over a historical marker at the location of the town constructed by George Washington in Suffolk, Va. Washington had slaves drain some wetlands to harvest cedar and cypress trees from the swamp before the American Revolution. That logging continued well into the 20th Century. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The city of Chesapeake is evaluating a plot of a land for a visitors center to draw more attention to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports the city plans to evaluate a 2-acre plot next to the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail to see if it’s a good place for a center. The feasibility study costs nearly $36,000 and would take roughly four weeks.

Officials say the city would share the facility with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which would buy the property and build the center. They say about $490,000 is available to buy the property. No funds have been allocated for construction, estimated to cost as much $8 million.

Advocates say the decades-old plan would draw tourists traveling into the area along U.S. 17.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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