The Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s green features extend outside its facility walls. From the orientation of the building to the management of stormwater around the building and grounds, to native plantings and conscious landscaping, many aspects of the facility’s siting have been considered along with the interior.
Before the first shovel broke ground, the building’s orientation was planned to ensure that the Sun’s rays would hit the solar panels and windows for as many hours a day as possible, increasing indoor daylighting and maximizing solar energy output.
During storms and downpours, runoff from the wooded drumlin has always been an issue, eroding our trails and creating washouts in front of the building. The new siting for the building funnels this water into several rain gardens. These gardens are designed to hold and absorb the rainwater and filter runoff, protecting ecosystems around ALNC and beyond. Native plants that thrive in wet conditions are planted in these gardens, proving that nature can be one of the most effective engineers!