Green Buildings in the Making

Edgewood County Park & Natural Preserve Interpretive Center

The San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Foundation is close to completing a campaign to build a small interpretive center designed to inspire stewardship and support the many activities of docents and rangers at the Edgewood County Park & Natural Preserve, located on the northwest border of Redwood City.

Edgwood County Park and Natural Preserve Interpretive Center
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Sustainable design principles guide the vision for the building. The building, designed to fit with the natural surroundings, also includes outdoor amphitheaters and a deck. The center, to be built from recycled or salvaged materials, will incorporate active and passive solar energy and rainwater runoff collection.

The center, to be located near the main entrance to the preserve, will be a small but versatile building. Approximately 1200 square feet, the building will include a large room for exhibits, a small office, storage and restrooms.

The conceptual plan was approved in December 2002. Environmental studies and design work as well as the first phase of development are already complete.

Phase 1 included parking lot improvements, a school bus entrance, a new pedestrian bridge made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood and creek restoration. Non-native vegetation was removed from the adjacent section of Cordilleras Creek. The old dirt parking lot was improved reducing its impact on the creek. This included expanding the vegetative buffers along the creek and the use of pervious paving materials. Groundbreaking on the building is envisioned in fall 2008.

The entire project is projected to cost $1.9 million, including a small fund to support volunteer recruitment, staffing, exhibit replacement and maintenance. Support from the local community is key to the success of the project. In addition to cash grants, donations of materials will also play an important role in the effort - both by reducing the amount of money the Foundation needs to raise and by adding qualitatively to the "green building" approach. The Foundation is preparing a needs list to make it easier to receive in-kind, material or equipment donations from local business.

All contributions for this are being put into a dedicated fund and will be spent only on this interpretive center. To discuss how you can help, please contact Julia Bott, Executive Director at 650-321-5812 or or visit the Parks Foundation website.