About Us

About Us

Materials & Resources Initiatives

Wherever possible, we have chosen to reduce, reuse and recycle! Salvaging and reconstituting used building materials keeps useful items out of landfills and reduces the new production and resources needed for construction. Many generous donors have shared beautiful materials with ALNC — here are just a few examples of how we are lightening our load on the earth.

Timber framing:
The beautiful post-and-beam framing in the new addition are actually old barn timbers salvaged and reconditioned by Glenville Timberwrights of Baraboo. Reusing old building materials for today’s use is an important way to save precious resources and preserves a part of our history, too.

Carpeting:
All the carpeting and tile in the new expanded facility were cast-offs from other construction projects and saved from landfills. A leader in “green” flooring, Sergenians Floor Coverings donated carpet, ceramic and vinyl tile and has won numerous awards for its environmental practices and contributions to a more sustainable world. Epic Systems, a company who demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability, donated the carpeting for the office areas.

Hand dryers:
Electric air hand dryers reduce paper waste and our building’s footprint! The Dyson Airblades installed in the new restrooms creates an environmentally-friendly way to clean up.

Lighting fixtures:
Epic Systems donated lighting fixtures that were no longer needed. These fixtures were re-fitted with LED bulbs to create energy efficient lighting for the Nature Center.

Office furniture:
Over 20 rooms of furniture were donated for a second life at the Nature Center and were saved from the landfill. Office cubicles, the reception desk and other furniture were donated by Smith & Gesteland. Chairs and tables were donated by American Girl. Tables and other office furniture were donated by Target Interiors.

Deck:
Trex Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of high performance wood-alternative decking, and their recycled-plastic product makes up the Nature Center’s outdoor decks, giving second life to used plastic and preventing replacement of rotting or splintered wood.

Fireplace:
Donated by Top Hat Heating, the Valcourt Versailles high- efficiency wood-burning fireplace uses a renewable energy source to heat the lobby.

Fireplace Stone:
In the late 1800s, ships sailed from Belgium to Chicago with granite stones as ballast. The stones were unloaded upon arrival and used as paving stones for Chicago’s early streets. The pavers were salvaged by Glenville Timberwrights and are starting their “fourth life” as the stone for our fireplace.

Reclaimed Flooring:
Salvaged from an old New Orleans warehouse scheduled for demolition, these century-old yellow heart pine boards were re-planed by Resplendent Mill Shop and shipped for nominal charge by W & A Shipping of Ft. Atkinson for use in the construction of the original Nature Center facility. Their installation, by Bartrol Hardwood Floors, shows us that timber created for one project can be reused– even generations later– in different ways. Re-using these boards allowed us to reduce the number of trees harvested for use at ALNC.

Leopold Pines:
The entrance to the original Nature Center building is flanked by four pine logs, planted by Aldo Leopold and his family at “The Shack” in the 1930s and harvested with draft horses by Nature Center volunteers in April 1996. The logs were stripped by hand by volunteers and left outside to weather naturally. As structural supports in the old lobby, these logs provide a lasting metaphor for Leopold’s support of the conservation ethic and environmental education.

Driveway:
Recycled asphalt used for our driveway means that fewer natural resources need to be mined and processed for pavement. DRS Paving of Madison recycles old pavement for re-use in projects like the Nature Center. Using recycled materials is a smart way to help the Earth!

Antler Chandeliers:
The magnificent antler chandelier in the main lobby was made by artists at Scottsdale Art Factory. Constructed of naturally-shed elk antlers and weighing 1400 pounds, the chandelier is a gift of the Kelly Family Foundation and the Scottsdale Art Factory. The deer antler chandeliers in the old building’s break-out rooms were made by naturally-shed antlers in northern Wisconsin and donated by Mary and Terry Kelly.