This November, as the fall weather rolled in and leaves changed color, 10 500-ft. wells were drilled for the geothermal system that will heat and cool the building. By circulating water through the 5,000-foot loop, the geothermal system will use the stable temperature of the earth to cool the building in the summer and warm it in the winter. Present estimates show the geothermal system using one-third of the energy of a conventional system.
The Trail Conference has preserved the wetlands around its headquarters. Functional sculptures have been designed and will be installed by George Trakas, world famous environmental sculptor. Completed design drawings include bridges, nature paths, and outdoor lighting.
The preserve nature paths will feature a dramatic bridge over the Darlington Brook, and granite slabs leading through the wetlands. These slabs are from the same source as the stone work of the original building. The nature paths will have interpretive signage describing the area’s native surroundings.
A riparian restoration of 400 feet of the south bank of Darlington Brook will be accomplished by removing invasives and installing native plant species. Towards the back of the property, a wood turtle nesting area will be encouraged. Wood turtles are native to northern New Jersey and are classified by the state as threatened. The sunny banks along Darlington Brook provide an ideal nesting space for these animals. Vernal pools will also attract wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and other native reptiles and amphibians.
The preserve nature paths at the Trail Conference’s headquarters will be used as an educational tool for nature enthusiasts to learn about the diverse flora and fauna that New Jersey has to offer.