Located just beyond the entrance to the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, the Environmental Education Visitors Center (EEVC) is the starting point for guests.
Educational displays allow visitors to touch a shed snake skin, learn about birds and wildflowers and study books on trees and landscaping. Many of the Arboretum's educational programs take place in the EEVC. The Arboretum Cafe, which offers fruit, sandwiches, ice cream, beverages and snacks, is located in the EEVC.
At the EEVC you can browse our library, find out what birds live at the Arboretum and learn more about the trees that grow here. Our TREEmendous Tree booklets are free and can also be used in the classroom and on self-guided field trips.
The Arboretum Cafe is open seven days a week during Arboretum hours and serves snacks, sandwiches and drinks.
The EEVC showcases innovative and practical environmental building features and technology, including:
- Geothermal heating and cooling - The aqua thermal system uses coils filled with a glycol solution submersed in the nearby pond. It saves 50 percent or more on energy costs.
- Passive solar power - The building is oriented so it takes advantage of the seasonal angle of the sun to reduce heating and cooling costs. Also, the acid-treated concrete floor simulates the sun's rays.
- Argon-filled windows - The windows are filled with argon gas, and the skylights are low emissions.
- Insulated ceiling panels - 9 1/2 inches of Styrofoam sandwiched between two outer layers of chipboard creates an insulation system.
- Fireplace - Featuring a serpentine flue to expose a a large amount of stone to heat, the structure holds heat well and creates a cozy winter experience.