‘Living’ Boardwalk Brings Environmental Education to Life: Old Line Bank President Cuts Ribbon for Inaugural Use

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 20, 2014

(Accokeek, MD) In partnership with Old Line Bank, the Alice Ferguson Foundation will unveil its Potomac Watershed Study Center Wetlands Boardwalk with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 21, 2014. The boardwalk will be a key component of the Foundation’s Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center education program providing vital connections for students to their natural environment.  The construction of the boardwalk is an important part of the Foundation’s larger Potomac Watershed Study Center, which will embrace the principles of the Living Building Challenge©, making it among the most innovative and environmentally sustainable building projects in the world.

The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s interpretive boardwalk, made possible by the largest donation in Old Line Bank’s history, skirts a seasonally wet emergent wetland that showcases many ecological concepts as well as plants and animal species.  “This boardwalk will further enhance the environmental education experience of the thousands of students we serve each year,” said Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation.  “Through this generous donation, Old Line Bank has not only helped us physically build a connection to nature that will foster the next generation of environmental stewards, but they have also contributed to a project that is changing the entire global building industry. We are very grateful for their support.”
boardwalk in the mist
In addition to facilitating environmental education experiences at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center, the boardwalk will be a key component of the Potomac Watershed Study Center (PWSC), which seeks to meet the stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge©.  The new high-performance Net-ZERO Energy, Net-ZERO Water and Carbon Neutral buildings and outdoor spaces that make up the Center will go far beyond what most people recognize as a “green building,” currently, there are only five certified Living Buildings in the world. In keeping with the Foundation’s mission, all of the PWSC’s systems will be integrated, transparent teaching tools that inspire the thousands of students and visitors to lessen their impact on the environment.

“We are proud to help bring one of the most important building projects in the world to Maryland and bring the communities we serve into the cutting edge of green movement” said James W. Cornelsen President and Chief Executive Officer, Old Line Bank. “At our core, Old Line Bank is a community institution and we are honored to contribute to a project that benefits the communities in which we serve by inspiring people to understand the effects of climate change, educating the public on their environmental impact, and demonstrating the possibility of living in harmony with nature.”

The Alice Ferguson Foundation connects people to the natural world, sustainable agricultural practices and the cultural heritage of their local watershed through education, stewardship and advocacy. AFF operates the Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center—a 330-acre working farm located on the shorelines of the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C.  Learn more at www.fergusonfoundation.org

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View photos from the event here.