Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 7 Construction Photos

Notice the "forms" that are being set in place to pour the walls to the new Nature Center.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Week 4 Construction Video

This video shows the level of construction that is progressing at Catoctin Creek Park.

Nature Center Foundation

Theses images show the progress of laying the "footers" for the new Nature Center.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 3 Construction Photos and Video

Photos of the ongoing construction at Catoctin Creek Park. Check below for some video clips.

Week 3 Construction Video

The entrance road of Catoctin Creek Park and Nature Center.

Week 3 Construction Video

This video shows the general footprint of the new Nature Center.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Renewable Energy at Catoctin Creek

As construction begins at Catoctin Creek Park, I would like to introduce you to one of the many "Green" technologies that is being implemented at this facility. Catoctin Creek Nature Center will have what is called "Geothermal" heating and cooling technology.

A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems.

Geothermal heat pumps are also known by a variety of other names, including geoexchange, earth-coupled, earth energy or water-source heat pumps. The engineering and scientific communities prefer the terms "geoexchange" or "ground source heat pumps" because geothermal traditionally refers to heat originating from deep in the Earth's mantle. Ground source heat pumps harvest a combination of geothermal power and heat from the sun when heating, but work against these heat sources when used for air conditioning.

Geothermal technology is very energy-efficient because underground temperatures are more stable than air temperatures through the year. Seasonal variations drop off with depth and disappear below seven meters. Like a cave, the shallow ground temperature is warmer than the air above during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A ground source heat pump extracts ground heat in the winter (for heating) and transfers heat back into the ground in the summer (for cooling). Some systems are designed to operate in one mode only, heating or cooling, depending on climate.

Visitors to the new Catoctin Creek Nature Center will enjoy educational opportunities such as learning more about Geothermal technology and how this and other environmental technologies are being implemented.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Construction Scheduled to Begin!

Construction of Catoctin Creek Park and Nature Center is scheduled to begin Monday, November 2nd. The projects estimated completion date is set for late summer 2010.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Ground Breaking Ceremony

Board of County Commissioner, Jan Gardner, speaking at the Ground Breaking Ceremony. Commissioner's David Gray and Kai Hagen also spoke at the event.

The October 1st Ground Breaking Ceremony

Catoctin Creek Park is located between the Towns of Middletown and Burkittsville, with the park entrance just off of Sumantown Road. This 139-acre parcel was purchased in 1974 by Frederick County.

The goal of the first phase of development of Catoctin Creek Park is to provide environmental education facilities, which will appeal to a broad range of park users in Frederick County. Construction for this phase of development will include a 6,100 square foot nature center with a vegetated roof, a receiving pavilion, a new entrance drive, parking, a well and septic system, bioretention pond, geothermal well field, landscaping, playground, picnic pavilion, and a handicapped-accessible loop trail. Construction is scheduled to begin October 2009 and is to be completed by the summer of 2010.

Catoctin Creek Park will be an asset to Frederick County by providing park facilities in harmony with the site and community. The park plan proposes a focus on environmental education utilizing the existing natural heritage found at this site. Youth programming, classes and summer camps will be a large focus for this facility. We will also offer school field trip options for students to learn more about the environment. However, educational activities will not be limited to youth. Staff will be leading and directing many environmental programs and recreational activities throughout the year including canoe trips, and evening educational programs that will be available for the entire family.

The nature center will host a variety of nature displays and exhibits in addition to incorporate various “green” building construction elements including a geothermal HVAC System, energy efficient wall systems/insulated roof panels/clad wood windows, low-emitting paints/adhesives/sealants/carpeting, southern facing windows to provide natural daylight in all regularly occupied spaces, vegetated roof to provide pre-treatment for rainfall and assist with conserving energy and the use of water efficient plumbing fixtures. Future phases of Catoctin Creek Park will include a pedestrian creek crossing, primitive camping locations, a maintenance facility, wildflower and native grass meadows, and additional trails.

The park will capitalize on the natural beauty of the site while providing varied recreational opportunities, as well as the amenities needed to make visits enjoyable.