Greening Our Facility

new roof'Green' Roof 

In 2006, the Elkhart Environmental Center replaced its leaking roof with a new 'green' roof.  The roof is not only green in color but it is also made of 70% post-industrial recycled waste including baby diapers that were factory seconds.  A special thank you to Carlisle, Inc for donating half of the shakes for the Eco-Star environmentally friendly roof product. 

Geothermal Energy
The Center has been using geothermal energy since the cabin was constructed in 1991. In 2007, the units were updated to an even more energy efficient system. The geothermal furnace is now on display inside the log cabin education center.   A big thank you to WaterFurnace for their discount on this energy saving unit.
Pervious Concrete Sidewalkpervious concrete
In the spring of 2008, the Elkhart Environmental Center installed a pervious concrete sidewalk.  These sidewalks capture stormwater and allow it seep into the ground at a rate of 3 to 5 gallons per minute.  This helps allow groundwater to be recharged, reduces stormwater runoff.  It reduces the need for retention ponds and swales.  This sidewalk is a part of the Elkhart River Alliance and Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District's Stormwater Urban Demonstration Site that was funded by an EPA 319 grant.  Also thank you to Premium Concrete for the discount on this project.
Rain GardensRain Garden Workshop
On May 31, 2008 the Elkhart Environmental Center partnered with the Elkhart River Alliance and Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District to plant two Rain Gardens and a Bioretention area through a hands-on workshop.  Participants learned about the value of rain gardens in collecting stormwater run-off and how they could build a rain garden at their own home or business. They then installed over 3000 plant plugs to establish the gardens at the Center.
The Eco-Cabin and permaculture area is designed as a demonstration site to teach visitors how to increase efficiency and to promote sustainable living practices. The Eco-Cabin and permaculture area has a variety of green products that can be purchased or found locally. You can download the Eco-Cabin Brochure & Resource Guide to get an overview of what you can explore at the Eco-Cabin and surrounding permaculture site.
A few simple ways that you can 'green' your home include:
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaners.
  • Build a compost bin.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs.

More ideas to make your home 'green' can be found in the Eco-Cabin Brochure & Resource Guide.