DELMAR — Now that the new $8.9 million visitor center is a reality, the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and the Friends of Five Rivers are bringing back their Fall Festival for the first time in three years on Saturday, Sept. 16, from noon to 4 p.m.
“We’re so excited to be back for this fun Saturday for the whole family,” said Joanne Macklin, executive director for the Friends. “We have really missed throwing this fall celebration, and we have even more to celebrate this year.” Construction on the new center, which was completed in June, has prevented Five Rivers from holding the popular annual festival, according to the Friends.
The event will provide an opportunity for the general public to see the new building, which is expected to receive LEED certification, and its green design features, including: a green roof; solar photovoltaic system; geothermal heating/cooling system; operable windows and roof vents; lighting and motion detection capabilities; and rain water collection and gray water system. The new center offers hands-on exhibits and displays that use the senses of sight, sound, smell and touch. An electric scooter is available for use on accessible trails for persons with limited mobility, as is a brand-new “freedom chair” that is specifically designed for trail use.
The new center was built using state funds.
“This year marks the 45th anniversary of the collaboration between Friends of Five Rivers and DEC,” said Maggie Moehringer, president of Friends of Five Rivers. “Working together, educators, docents, interns and volunteers provide environmental education experiences, programs and trainings to thousands of school children and adults each year. This first-hand education helps them—and their families—become better stewards of their natural resources.”
All are welcome to this free exploration and celebration of nature. For more information, call (518) 475-0295 or visit www.friendsoffiverivers.org. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is located at 56 Game Farm Road in Delmar.
(Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the new building was already LEED-certified. The certification process, however, has not yet been completed. Also, the project was built entirely with state funding and involved no grant funding or collaboration.)