Moebius Nature Center - Environmental Education Leadership in Portage County!

Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Sat, 01/27/2007 - 11:38.

Moebius Photo for Web


This is just a little plug for those in the know.... we have begun pulling together the final data regarding just how green our major renovation at the Moebius Nature Center really was. 
- for an exterior photo
- for photos of programming to get an idea of the core function of MNC.

*note main website closed for renovation.

HOW Green (environmentally preferable) is MNC?

1. 30% recycled fly ash concrete drive
2. Zero waste cellulose blown in insulation
3. Tankless instant / on demand hot water heating
4. Energy star rated windows
6. Walls made of pressed sunflower hulls and wheat straw
7. Reused greenhouse saved from being buried in a C&D landfill
8. Zero VOC / zero silica paint (interior)
9. Low flow instant on/off fixtures in public areas (motion sensing so kids cant leave them on)
10. Low flow toilets
11. Non chlorinated drinking water from our own well
12. Low PVC content in building
13. No PVC content in drinking water system
14. 100% reused seating for 99 program attendees
15. 100% reused shelving from a local store that went out of business
16. Shell of building renovated - 80% reused, core 50%. (This was not new construction but a renovation)
17. Resident beaver population 2 and growing...
18. Certainly the stream of environmental education based programs that have been ongoing for over 6 years adds a layer of greeness as well!
19. More soon... the process continues!

Can you imagine.... all that green goodness.  Come on out... perhaps we should have a realneo night out in the woods once it warms up.  The MNC sites on 50 acres, and is surrounded by over 400 acres of public land. 

Very impressive demonstration of green practices

This is awesome, ZM, and offers a great list of things building owners may do to help with the environment... can you elaborate on some of the benefits of these preactices, from Moebius (love the name, BTW). Some items I don't see are CF bulbs, maximizing natural light, off grid power generation... what have you decided and done in thses areas? Keep posting the good things you are doing with this excellent demonstration of social consciousness. I'd love to plan a time for friends to gather there and learn more on site, and have some good green fun. Let us know when you think we should do that.

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aaw shite... glad I dropped this up on here...

Exactly right Big N, we do have some F bulbs, and some spots (non energy efficient) designed to point at art o/ exhibits on the walls.  Great point I need to add this up.  Unfortunatly before I got this project in my cross hairs for greening, and subsequently devoted a increasing portion of my life towards the cause  ;-) the lighting fixtures had already been purchased.  (part fl, and part incandescent).

Natural light is in effect thru 4 giant glass french doors and of course the premo sunroom.  Though no formal day lighting thru the roof is present because we have not decided how to finish the interior of the ceiling as of yet.  Until this past year, MNC was a seasonal outfit doing lots of outdoor classes in spring, summer, fall.  Of course the second they built this (with an uninsulated roof, and baffle system so the classroom can be nonheated when not in use) they ramped up programming a bit and now do things in winter as well... and they are wishing they had raised the loot to insulate the roof.... its on the drawing board.

Budget (at present) did not allow for off grid power generation though ideas are on the drawing board to fund this in a way that is hands on educational via metering, and high visability installs.  Currently tied to grid for elec, and on its own natural gas well, with supporting infrastructure onsite.

The good news is everything was left very modular and ready for the upgrade.  Walls are insulated, hvac is sized to efficiently handle the entire space, etc.  They are just now wrapping up their 501c3 so hope to have a capacity building grant in hand so we can raise more dosh, expand programming, and finish the ceiling to make it warm n toasty all year round for programming.   Did I mention we are doing overnight camp outs this summer as well.   Should be rad. 

As for getting some RealNeo regulars out for some decompression in the woods.  I am in the process of wrapping up the aquisition of an A/V system.   The Buckeye Sustainability Institute leg of the MNC team (mainly, Steve-O and myself) have been developing the concept of screening eco-logical films out there in a fashion that would drive some dialog on the point following the screening.   Perhaps we could collaborate on one of those.....

if we could post a poll up here on realneo we could vote on which film to screen, then roundtable a bit of discussion following and podcast that sucker!

Then again I find the space very conducive to unstructured learnign as well.  Beavers on our pond, more trails then one can shake a stick at, and lots of other things to learn hands on.

I think the real neo community will be extended a warm welcome this summer... out in the country!

I wonder what they would be interested in doing out there?

Have you thought about a corn burner for heat?

I'm curious if you considered a corn burner for heat out there. My understanding is they are very clean, cost effective and energy efficient. One that seems well engineered is the Maxim outdoor unit found here, for example. Here is how they present their environmental benefit:

Environmental Benefits

The Maxim is beneficial for the environment because burning wood pellets or shelled corn is natural. Both are totally renewable resources and, when burned, result in no net increases in carbon dioxide. On the other hand, fossil fuels when burned release carbon dioxide which would otherwise be trapped in the earth. The burning of fossil fuels causes a net increase in carbon dioxide which is believed to be responsible for the heat-trapping greenhouse effect.

In addition to the clean-burning characteristics, burning shelled corn further benefits the environment because it is typically grown locally and requires less energy to harvest and transport than fossil fuels. The small amount of ash left over from burning shelled corn in the Maxim can even be used to fertilize garden areas.

Wood pellets are environmentally friendly not only because of their clean-burning characteristics, but also because they are typically made from materials generated in saw mills or furniture manufacturing factories that were once discarded in landfills or left to rot on the forest floor.

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