Ribbon Cut on Sully Woodlands Stewardship Education Center
The Fairfax County Park Authority celebrated the completion of the new Woodlands Stewardship Education Center with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Nov. 18. Designed for adults and children alike, this interpretive facility demonstrates principles of environmental stewardship that make a world of difference in the way we interact with and affect our natural environment.
From the use of reclaimed construction materials and sustainable energy and water sources to experimentation with simple machines and natural observation spaces, this stewardship education center provides a platform for demonstrating technologies and processes that can reshape our individual relationship with the environment around us.
County leaders, project benefactors and residents from the surrounding community participated in the inaugural event followed by tours of the features of the site, designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge – an achievement attained by only a small number of projects worldwide.
“When looking at the concept for this project, we knew we wanted to raise the bar to a whole new level,” said Park Authority Executive Director Jai Cole. “Every aspect of this facility is an exhibit that illustrates our connection to the natural world and creates an experience that will ignite the imaginations and creativity of young people through hands-on experiences and play.”
The standards of the Living Building Challenge require meticulous attention to the development of a project in seven performance categories including Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Every aspect of the project. The Park Authority will be eligible to apply for Living Building Challenge certification after one full year of operation.
General project features include an interpretive center with multipurpose spaces, kitchen and restroom; an educational kiosk and plumbing room; outdoor amphitheater and observation deck; a large activity play space with connecting trails, native plantings and related site improvements.
The total project cost was $8.8 million and included $7.2 million in park bond funding, $1.1 million in proffers, and $500,000 in financial contributions through the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
The Woodlands Stewardship Education Center is located within Ellanor C. Lawrence Park at 5301 Walney Road in Chantilly.
For more information, visit the Woodlands Stewardship Education Center webpage https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/eclawrence/woodlands-stewardship-education-center