Visitor center goes green

Visitor center goes green

At the new Suwanee River Visitor Center in Georgia, guests will not only learn about trees in the area, but help to save them as well. The new $2 million center located near the Okefenokee Swamp is 47 percent more energy-efficient than other buildings of its size. An Atlanta-based architectural and design firm, Culpepper, McAuliffe and Meaders, Inc. (CMMI), used building materials made of recycled content, including insulation made from newspapers and a retaining wall made of old dashboards and cable.

If there was a way to recycle, CMMI tried it. Water usage was reduced by using composting toilets and rainwater collection, and even the parking lot was made from porous concrete to help prevent runoff into the river.

“This new visitor center, which is located in a part of Georgia renowned for its natural, cultural and environmental significance, is economic development and tourism promotion at their best,” said Georgia Department of National Resources (DNR) Commissioner Loniee Harrett.

Not only is the center lauded for its environmental wonders, but also for the ones inside the building. Visitors will be able to enjoy educational exhibits that help them learn about alligators and vegetation native to the area. Later this summer, they will even enjoy live exhibits including a snapping turtle and tree frogs.

COPYRIGHT 2004 National Recreation and Park Association

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group