Over nine years in development and construction, the Robinson Nature Center opened its doors to the public on September 10, 2011. Located on a prime parcel of land in the middle of Howard County, Maryland, the Center began as a dream held by Anne Robinson, that her land could be enjoyed by many in the pristine and natural state that she and her husband James had enjoyed together for so many years.
Today, the 23,000-square-foot Center is a unique environmental education facility situated on 18 acres of land. It reflects years of creative and innovative efforts of educators, community leaders, designers, wildlife experts, historians and resource conservationists. The Center stands adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, which provides more than 1000 acres of forest meadows and river valley to explore.
The three-story center nestles into a hillside and was designed from the very beginning with environmental conservation and sustainability in mind. It uses state-of-the-art technologies and renewable resources to maximize energy conservation. Geothermal heating/air-conditioning, solar panels that generate 15% of electric needs, innovative water conservation methods and a host of other features make this building environmentally friendly. Pervious paving in the parking area and even recycled wood from the Robinsons’ barn contribute to the Center’s commitment to the environment.
Designed by GWWO Architects, the building demonstrates the latest in sustainable design ideas, craftsmanship and materials. The Center has been recognized by Associated General Contractors as the “Best Sustainability Project of the Year in New Construction” and was recently awarded Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification, the highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has called it, “. . . a long-term investment for future generations.”