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2008 Media Releases

October 16, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Terry Genrich, Parks and Recreation, 441-7939


The recent addition to the Prairie Building at the Pioneers Park Nature Center was honored today with the LEED® Certification – Silver from the U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is USGBC’s system for rating the design and construction of energy efficient buildings. The Prairie Building is the first City of Lincoln building to receive the certification.

“The City of Lincoln is committed to green building construction,” said Mayor Chris Beutler. “This project sets the standard we are trying to achieve for all new City buildings in the future.” The Mayor made the comments at the presentation of the LEED plaque to the Prairie Building by Nate Maniktala, a board member of USGBC’s Flatwater Chapter.

LEED was established to promote the design and construction of buildings that protect and save natural resources while also making good economic sense. LEED Certification is awarded to projects that show a commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. These projects demonstrate lower operating costs, a reduction in waste sent to landfills, conservation of energy and water, and a reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The 3,326-square foot addition to the Prairie Building was completed in September 2007. It was designed by The Architectural Partners to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use and to incorporate other sustainable features. The addition includes a variety of green design and construction features including:

  • a garden roof planted with drought-tolerant plants;
  • straw bale wall construction;
  • a geothermal heat pump system;
  • natural day lighting;
  • a 3,000 gallon storage cistern that collects rainwater for watering gardens;
  • the use of material with either recycled content or post-consumer recycled content;
  • the use of products with low or no volatile organic compounds;
  • a recycling center; and
  • landscaping with drought-tolerant native planting.

The Mayor thanked the community supporters who helped with the addition, including the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Lincoln Parks Foundation, Lincoln Cares, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, the Lincoln Public Schools, the Lincoln Electric System, and the Friends of the Pioneers Park Nature Center.

The Pioneers Park Nature Center was established in 1963 and provides environmental education for the community. Its mission is to interpret the natural history of Nebraska and the Central Great Plains; to promote the enjoyment, appreciation and awareness of our natural environment; to practice and foster a conservation ethic; and to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for people. The Nature Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

USGBC is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. More information on USGBC is available at

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