Frequently Asked Questions

The Merrill Center sits on 33 acres of private waterfront property and overlooks Black Walnut Creek and the Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Dave HartcornPhilip Merrill Environmental Center.
Photo by Dave Hartcorn

Q. What is provided with the rental fee?
A. Everything listed under Features and Services. Additional tables and chairs are available for rental.

Q. How many hours does the rental fee cover for my event?
A. The Merrill Center is rented for 8-hour blocks of time.

Q. How many people does your facility hold for an event?
A. The Joseph and Bonnie Kies Canvasback Conference Room holds 130-140 seated; 250 standing. There's an additional 2200 sq. ft. of partially tented deck space and a beach area, which will allow for additional guests.

Q. Is use of the beach part of the rental fee?
A. The rental fee covers the use of the room, catering kitchen, deck, dock, and beach. Though we do allow our staff to use the far end of the beach, this area is not in front of the center and staff use will not disturb your event.

Q. Can we have candles during our event?
A. Yes. We allow use of tealight and floating candles, provided they are contained within a glass holder. Tall taper and pillar candles are prohibited.

Q. Can we use the dock during our event?
A. Yes. The dock can be used during your event to access the beach, for wedding ceremonies, and other occasions.

Q. Can we use our own caterer and/or rental company?
A. No. You must select a caterer and/or rental company from our approved vendor list. All other service providers, such as photographers, DJs, and florists can be chosen at your discretion.

Q. Is there an onsite kitchen?
A. Yes. There is a catering kitchen conveniently located off of the Joseph and Bonnie Kies Canvasback Conference Room.

Q. We have heard that your facility is a "green" building. What does that mean?
A. The Merrill Center is constructed of the most environmentally responsible building materials available, and consumes significantly less energy, water, and resources than similar commercial buildings. Not only does the building's design prevent thousands of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from entering the Chesapeake Bay, it is extremely cost-effective, and operates in harmony with the land, natural resources, and the water. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Merrill Center its first ever prestigious LEED Platinum designation, making it the world's greenest building.

Download our Event Packet for additional information.

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