Environmental Learning Centre Opens

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 28, 2012

North Shore Credit Union (NSCU) and North Vancouver School District 44  opened Environmental Learning Centre on June 20 in Brackendale, B.C.

The NSCU Environmental Learning Centre will be a provincial demonstration facility of leading environmental practices, visited by thousands of students and adults annually.

Plans for the innovative centre became a reality in 2007 when NSCU’s Foundation selected North Vancouver Outdoor School (NVOS) as the recipient of a $1 million Legacy Fund donation.

The outdoor school was chosen for its innovative programs; the one-time grant marked the final gift from the foundation which has since concluded its activities to pave the way for NSCU’s new charitable giving program. 

“Our impact on the earth is accelerating at a growing rate,” said Chris Catliff, President and CEO, North Shore Credit Union.

“We need to raise the consciousness of our children and young adults in order to solve the problems we’re creating,” Catliff said.

The NSCU Environmental Learning Centre, located in the heart of the North Vancouver Outdoor School, includes classrooms, seminar rooms, gallery space, an outdoor classroom area and dining areas.

The building’s award-winning design features environmental principles such as geothermal water heating, a storm water harvesting system and a “tree house” concept that will elevate visitors to the forest canopy level.

The project has also targeted LEED Platinum sustainability status. Construction on the $5.8 million North Shore Credit Union Environmental Learning Centre began in February 2011.

“As a model of sustainability, the North Shore Credit Union Environmental Learning Centre represents the unprecedented renewal and revitalization we are creating throughout the North Vancouver School District, “said Franci Stratton, Chair, North Vancouver School District.

“Local students and visitors from around the world now have a new, world-class destination to learn more about the nature and beauty of the temperate rainforest here on the West Coast.”