CBF's Brock Environmental Center Inspires Broad Community Support

(NORFOLK, VA)—Recent donations of more than a half-million dollars to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) for the creation of a cutting-edge, eco-friendly environmental education center in Virginia Beach demonstrate wide support for the project.

"These gifts validate the importance of our mission to make the Brock Environmental Center a regional hub for environmental education and conservation, set new standards for green building, and become a national model for living responsibly near sensitive ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay," said Christy Everett, CBF Hampton Roads Director. "They are most gratifying, humbling, and inspiring." CBF plans to construct the center to meet the "Living Building Challenge"—a set of strict environmental standards that requires the facility to have "net-zero" impact on the environment.

CBF has recently received a grant of $500,000 from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for CBF's Brock Environmental Center at Pleasure House Point. This is the largest competitive grant CBF has been awarded for this project to date. Through the Brock Environmental Center project, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation supports CBF's efforts to restore local waterways and help Save the Bay through environmental education, restoration, and community engagement. The Brock Environmental Center will be an active demonstration site and model for green building and environmental sustainability for southeast Virginia and beyond.

In addition, the Virginia Beach Garden Club awarded CBF a $22,000 grant to create five rain gardens, using native plants, to surround the Brock Environmental Center. These rain gardens will be a vital component, helping to absorb stormwater runoff at the site and keep it from entering the fragile Lynnhaven River, while demonstrating environmental stewardship to the community, and enhancing the natural beauty and wildlife habitat of Pleasure House Point.

And, Whole Foods Market announced that on May 22, its Virginia Beach store will donate five percent of the day's net sales towards CBF's Brock Environmental Center project. Whole Foods Market sells only natural and organic products which are in line with high quality standards and fairness, including organic farming, seafood sustainability, animal welfare, community involvement, and a whole trade guarantee. Environmental stewardship is key to its mission as each store practices reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Construction of the Brock Environmental Center is slated to begin in August, with a target opening of autumn 2014. For more information, contact Christy Everett at 757-622-1964, send an e-mail to hamptonroads@cbf.org, or visit cbf.org/brockcenter.

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Partnering with CBF to create the Brock Environmental Center are SmithGroupJJR, one of the largest architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the nation and the designer of CBF's LEED Platinum headquarters building in Annapolis, Md.; Hourigan Construction, an award-winning builder that has constructed multiple projects in the Hampton Roads region and across Virginia; Skanska, one of the nation's largest, most reputable construction and project management service providers with exceptional credentials in green and sustainable construction; and WPL Site Design, a Virginia Beach-based environmental landscape architectural, surveying, and civil engineering firm.

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