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Source: Lakefield Herald.

After 20 weeks of construction, Peterborough now has one of the most sustainable buildings in Canada.

Camp Kawartha officially opened its Environment Centre at Trent University on Monday, November 2.

The unique educational facility is located at 2505 Pioneer Road, next to Trent’s Wildlife Sanctuary.

The one-of-a-kind centre will provide environmental programming on sustainability, alternative energy and nature awareness to elementary and high school students.

Guests had the opportunity to see the finished building with its many features including energy-efficient lighting, composting toilets, geothermal radiant floors, a living green roof, solar heated water, rainwater collection, a wetland treatment system and Ontario’s only thatch roof.

The solar panels will collect enough energy to power the centre, and surplus energy will be sold back into the electrical grid at a rate of $0.80 per kWh.

The centre will also partner with Trent School of Professional Learning to provide examples of best practices in environmental education for emerging teachers and will also offer a variety of workshops to the general public on sustainable living practices.

Main sponsors and partners are the Gainey Foundation, Trent University, Fleming College’s Sustainable Building Program and many other funders and donors.

Anna Gainey, Executive Director of the Gainey Foundation says, “The Gainey Foundation is proud to be a part of the exceptional team that made this innovative project a reality. The Camp Kawartha Environment Center is a place that Laura would have loved and is a perfect example of what our foundation was established to do.”

“Trent University is proud to be a partner in the creation of the Centre,” says Trent president Dr. Steven E. Franklin. “Having a fully sustainable building on our campus further demonstrates Trent’s commitment to the environment and complements the wealth of environmental highlights on our campus. This exciting project provides new opportunities for all of the partners involved to offer unique learning experiences about sustainable development.”

“Students in the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program learned from their teachers who are experts on sustainability and innovation. Then, through their program, they have also ‘built a teacher’ – a building that will help visitors learn for years to come,” says Tony Tilly, president of Fleming College.

Jacob Rodenburg, Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, says the centre “will provide a measure of hope for a greener future to our children. Often the only solution we offer to children in the face of ever larger global environmental issues is recycling. Children are smart enough to know that, while recycling is wonderful, it is not itself nearly enough. The Camp Kawartha Environment Centre offers real life examples of how we all can live more gently and sustainably in our communities and that this choice is not a difficult one to make.”