Gardening & Nature!Plano Environmental Education Center/Trinity River Audubon Center

    

What a beautiful place to visit! Autum provided our class with atour of the beautiful facility. We viewed photovoltaic panels, cisterns, a living roof, thermal solar water heater, and the wind turbine. The building features dual flush toilets, recycled products, natural lighting, an energy recovery system.

The cisterns hold over 2 gallons of water. The facility cost 1.7 mmillion to build. unfortunately the city is stage four water restriction, which is slowing the process for the texas smartscape landscape. The facility 2600 square feet and has a great space to rent for event or attending educational seminars…which are zero waste events!

Styrofoam is used for insulation in the walls and the roof. The counters are richlite shelf, which is recycled paper and eucalyptus. Beautiful, smooth finishing on the counters. Low E windows for cross ventilation fresh air and a fresh air recovery system. I had no idea there was recycled furniture like the table and chairs made from corn palmer and the love seat made of recycled cardboard. Which…I am looking to invest in the recycled cardboard loveseat for my library at school. This will strike conversation and lead to discussions on sustainability in school!!!

I would like to attend the educational classes the center offers and help spread the word about them.

This summer I will take my niece and her friends and let them help with the gardening and allow them to experience sustainable living!! We will help with the gardening, weeds and then we will go home and plant our own! My mom is already interested in attending the classes with me. Education is the key!

        Our last stop of the day was Trinity River Audubon Center. Beautiful day to visit such a magnificent piece of art!

 Dana Wilson is a volunteer and guided us through the beautiful design. To start, I was extremely surprised to learn about the landfill. First a legal landfill, than illegal. At the point of becoming illegal, there was 1.5 millions tons of garbage! Whoah! Who would have thought the area would be turned into beautiful nature trails and educational facility for all age individuals?! 8 years to clean the landfill. The facility is 6000 area if urban bottomland hardwood forest and the building is LEED Gold! I was impressed with the design of the building, which is designed to resemble the body of a bird. I love to see green roofs and this facility has one!

East Texas bamboo is used for the flooring. I learned that bamboo flooring can take a beating and still shine back to its original beauty! Low maintenance! Dana explained the facility will host events with 100-200 people and to clean, they run a mop over the floor and back to shining it goes! The acoustics on the ceiling are made from recycled cotton. I had no idea you could use recycled cotton or denim as an insulator. Ms Dana educated this grad student!

The land has 9 ponds which are all natural or naturally enhanced. The cisterns hold 33,000 gallons of h2o and irrigate the perimeter of the building. One product I was introduced to is TREX! Recycled milk bottles and wood. Looks great, feels great and low maintenance! My mom lives on a lake and we are redoing the deck this summer…I think I just found the new material!!

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