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Audubon Center update

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  • asncalert
    From: Martha Benedict Montecito Heights Improvement Assoc. Vice President Tom Berg organized an officers tour of the Audubon
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2003
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      From: Martha Benedict <mfbenedict@ earthlink.net>

      Montecito Heights Improvement Assoc. Vice President Tom Berg
      organized an officers' tour of the Audubon Center last week. Tom and
      secretaries Donnette Thayer and Martha Benedict gathered at the
      construction trailer Wednesday afternoon for Darryl Ramos-Young's
      excellent overview of the Center. [President Dianne Ryan and
      Treasurer Robert Nakahiro were unable to come.] Darryl oriented us
      using a model of the structure.
      There will be a 32-space parking area at the level of the
      building up the driveway from Griffin Avenue. A room dedicated to
      visitor use containing computers and microscopes will be on the left
      and a reception desk with offices on the right. There will also be a
      community room available for meetings. Outside, at the other end of
      the structure will be a lovely courtyard and a special children's
      garden at the base of the slope, full of fun things to do under a
      huge, old pepper tree.
      The Center is going for a "platinum" status as a no-impact
      ecological facility. It will have a self-contained waste disposal
      system, irrigating the grounds with its own treated water. The
      building will be solar-powered from panels on its black roof. The
      structure will be painted a soft tan color with sage green trim to
      blend with the landscape. Every detail of environmental sensitivity
      has been considered, down to the countertops covered in tile made
      from compressed sunflower husks. This has taken a lot of extra work
      to accomplish, but it will pay off as an example for other building
      projects to follow.
      We walked up the driveway to see the construction in progress.
      Darryl described the landscaping plans, all native plants with
      eventual hopes of restoring the hillside to its original condition
      of walnut-oak woodland. One unexpected feature of the site is the
      scenic panorama of the Arroyo--and this was a hazy day. On a clear
      day, it will be amazing.
      Check out the part of Audubon's web site that presents an
      overview of Debs park. It will give you an idea of their standards
      and attention to detail:
      http://www.audubon.org/chapter/ca/ca/debs_park.htm
      If we were enthusiastic about the Audubon Center before, we are
      ecstatic now, eagerly awaiting the opening later this summer.
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