Celebrating 95 w/ a Historic Groundbreaking!
On Friday, April 10th, at 3:30pm, approximately 250 people came to celebrate Helen Cope’s 95th Birthday in conjunction with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new educational and orientation building at CEC in her honor. Both events were historical–one celebrated the life of a teacher and pioneer for conservation and sustainability in our region, and the other began the first ‘Living Building Challenge’ project in Indiana. Presently, there are only 6 certified ‘Living Buildings’ in the world.
What exactly is a certified ‘Living Building?’ The International Living Future Institute defines one as “a demonstration that the built environment can actually help restore the natural environment.” It is a way to move the market forward in environmental design and tackle global challenges such as growing energy and water demands without compromising the health of people or fragile ecosystems. The new building will also serve as the official trail head of the upcoming Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area—a new recreation area that will include a children’s park and possibly a system of trails connecting Cope Environmental Center down to Whitewater State Park. This newly designated conservation area will not only protect East-Central Indiana, an area that has long been identified as “undeserved in public lands with biologically significant assets,” but it will also be headed by a new species of building that thrives with nature’s ecosystems rather than against them.
CEC is excited to use the design of the building as a teaching tool, and it is fitting that the life of a teacher was celebrated in conjunction with the ground breaking of it! You can find pictures from the event by visiting our Facebook Page.