Building for the Future: Phase Two

In fall 2016, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment concluded Phase One of our Building for the Future campaign, raising $5.8 million and opening the doors to a beautiful and inspirational, 9,000-square-foot “living” environmental education center.

Today, with the incredible momentum and success of Phase One, we seek an additional $940,000 to realize our vision and complete Phase Two, which includes:

Nature Play and Learning Places

The Hitchcock Center is committed to new ways of safely attracting children into natural settings and to integrate the experience of nature into childhood. Through the Nature Play and Learning Places Master Plan, the Hitchcock will transform its 2.44-acre site into an engaging, interactive and educational outdoor classroom for people of all ages and abilities. The Hitchcock Center will use its Nature Play and Learning Places to promote and strengthen the practice of nature play and outdoor learning experiences to help the next generation become environmentally literate, to acquire strong environmental values, and move human society in a more sustainable direction. There will be ten imaginative, thought-provoking activity settings:

Zone 1: Wildflower Meadow & Permaculture Garden
Zone 2: Water Play & Shady Grove Area
Zone 3: Mud Play Area
Zone 4: Den Play Yard
Zone 5: Discovery Yard
Zone 6: Teaching Gardens
Zone 7: Teaching & Gathering Placs
Zone 8: Nest Play Yard
Zone 9: Teaching Pond* & Aquatic Study Area
Zone 10: Nature Trail Network
*Pending further study

Living Building Commissioning and Certification

The Hitchcock Center now enters an intensive period of commissioning, testing, and documentation as we undergo certification. Our design-build team and sustainability consultant will work with the International Living Future Institute and the Center over a 12-month period to conclude this critical performance review and audit. To achieve certification, we will purchase a one-time carbon off-set to account for the total footprint of embodied carbon related to the construction of our building. And, we will place into a permanent conservation restriction an amount of land equal to what we developed (2.77 acres), elsewhere in the Valley. These are critical requirements of the Living Building Challenge’s framework. Included in the expense are those related to negotiating our 95-year ground lease, constructing our net zero building systems, and remediating contaminated soils.

We will equip, furnish, and provide the necessary technology to complete our state-of-the-art multimedia teaching and learning spaces and building monitoring systems. For example, there will be an online building management system (BMS) so we can keep an eye on and adjust all lighting, HVAC, water, and energy systems to ensure optimal operation to meet our sustainability goals. The Center’s digital dashboard will also provide real-time performance data on energy production and use by type, water collection, storage, and use; weather conditions; and other information so that visitors may learn how the Hitchcock Center is meeting the Living Building ChallengeTM. Additional furniture and equipment will fully “fit out” our Visitor Center, community meeting room, classrooms, and offices.

With your support, you help empower the Hitchcock Center with the resources and tools it needs to leave our children and our children’s children a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable world. Learn more about our educational plans to strengthen and expand our delivery of high quality, effective environment education programs.


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Hitchcock Center for the Environment