Posted: Monday, April 22nd 2013 at 3:48pm
Earth Day welcomes E-House
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – More than 1 billion people in 192 countries are expected to participate in activities this year commemorating the 43rd annual Earth Day. A crowd slightly less than that number found their way deep inside the Elachee Nature Science Center Monday afternoon under cerulean blue skies and cool temperatures to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the "E-House".
The E-House is a solar and sustainable demonstration building built under the collaborative efforts of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Elachee Nature Science Center, Hall County government, Hall County Schools, Lanier Technical College and ZF Wind Power.
The 12-foot x 20-foot one-room building is a feature of the "All About Energy" program for students. Included in its design are solar panels, high r-value insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, a “green roofing” system, and specialized landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water.
Stan Brown, Chairman of EnviroShare (in addition to being the Oakwood City Manager), welcomed about thirty elected and community leaders to the ceremony.
EnviroShare, Brown explained, is working to bring together public and private interests to promote sustainable growth. "As we do community planning and we look at community decisions…we consider the environment on an even plane with economic development and the human element."
Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield told the audience, "If we’re not careful we will, indeed, be the first generation of Americans to leave fewer opportunities to our children than were left for us. We’ve never done that before."
"Now, more than ever," Schofield said, "we better start to get our arms around this idea of what is sustainable for the generations to come."
"It’s amazing what we can get done as a community if we quit worrying about who gets the credit."
Earth Day may have its roots in the radical 1960s, but its message has definitely taken on a mainstream-flavor in 2013.
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