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New exhibit at The Wild Center features green building

TUPPER LAKE The Wild Center just opened its new outdoor exhibit. Along with the giant trout, splashing otters, and moving glacier, this newest exhibit is all about building green in the Adirondacks. Its called The New Path and it takes visitors on a guided tour of the sometimes surprising secrets of how green buildings work. You can even watch the power output of the Centers huge solar array, and test-drive its flooring made from used tires. The Center is the only LEED certified museum in New York State and the only certified facility in the entire Adirondacks. The certification is considered the international benchmark for green building design, and is issued by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The New Path exhibit lets visitors see how the green campus of the Museum works, from the solar and green roofs to the sun-facing windows, and includes tips on trying the techniques at home. We designed the exhibit because sometimes these things are hard to see, and they can really save money for people. Weve had visitors asking us how it all works. There seems to be a lot of hunger to see what all the green building buzz is about, and putting labels right on the parts of our campus that are especially green seemed like a great way to turn the campus into a useful exhibit, said Jen Kretser who heads up programs at The Wild Center. The exhibit has fourteen stations, all of them along its outdoor trail system, and all are adjacent to the item they describe, right down to the label on the bio toilets that according to the exhibit have zero gallons per flush. Youd think there was plenty of fresh water in the Adirondacks, but the truth is every flush goes somewhere, and it costs energy to build and manage all the sewage treatment plants. Having restrooms that make dry compost is a pretty interesting idea, said Chris Rdzanek who manages The Wild Center site. I look at all these pieces and they add up to less. Theres less maintenance, less cleaning, less replacement of parts because its all designed to work more efficiently and last longer. The New Path is one more piece of the growing array of exhibits that fill and surround the waterfront main museum building. Together the exhibits, store, caf_nd trails are earning the center rave reviews. The Boston Globe called it the place to go in the Adirondacks. The New York Times called it stunning and this summer in addition to The New Path, the center added a brand new film narrated by Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver to its array of attractions. There are more live animals than ever, including its signature river otters and an outdoor campus with trails, its own river frontage and private pond. The main museum exhibits, housed in a 54,000 square foot building, mix up the indoors and outdoors with enviable results. The Wild Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31, and remains open all winter from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There is more information at www.wildcenter.org.

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