#Newsflash | Alley Pond Environmental Center Opens New Headquarters on Dec. 4
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Build it, and they will come! (Of course, the word “they” refers to humans, rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, iguanas, and even some chinchillas.)
The Alley Pond Environmental Center will hold a ribbon cutting to unveil its new headquarters on Monday, Dec. 4, which also happens to be World Wildlife Conservation Day. The program begins at 11 am with self-guided tours to follow.
The fun continues on Saturday, Dec. 9, with an open house from noon to 4 pm. Boomer Brothers, a high-energy, four-piece Rock band, will perform at 1:30pm.
The $26 million-plus undertaking razed an existing facility at 228-06 Northern Blvd. to construct a state-of-the-art one at 229-10 Northern Blvd. in Alley Pond Park. Sherwood Design Engineers led the project which includes green infrastructure and low-impact development techniques.
The LEED-gold-standard building has toilets flushed with rainwater, a geothermal system that takes energy from the ground for heating and cooling, light-diffusing windows, and skylights that provide daylighting and natural ventilation. In the landscape, native planting in the parking lot bioswales cleans rainwater runoff and keeps it from inundating the city sewer.
Furthermore, the location minimizes the handicap-accessible building’s impact on wetlands and existing trees, and the ground floor is elevated to resist flooding. The faceted glazed brick wall creates a sound barrier to noisy Northern Boulevard and, depending on the light, evokes animal scales or lichen. The large roof slopes to capture rainwater while creating a lofty and sheltered space.
The APEC campus, which includes classrooms and an animal room with more than 80 species, will be open daily except for major holidays. Weekday hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm, while weekend hours will vary. (The Alley Pond Park walking trails are open from dawn to dusk all year round.)
The construction project began with the design phase in 2010. In late 2019, APEC moved to a temporary headquarters at 224-75 76th Ave. in Oakland Gardens, where it continued offering nature-related programs to all ages.
Established in 1972, APEC‘s mission includes environmental education and stewardship, preservation of Alley Pond Park, and advocacy for sustainable policies and practices.
Editor’s note: Thanks the following donors: National Grid, Helms Bros Inc, Resorts World New York City, Alma Bank, Rita Sherman, Fran Filloramo, and Michael and Linda Agnello.
Images: Alley Pond Environmental Center