The Wrack

 blog of the wells reserve & laudholm trust

Turning Down the Heat

January 3, 2013 By Nik Charov Filed under Article Tags: campusdonationssolar powerwatermark

Water tower in winterThe Wells Reserve at Laudholm is special. Not a day passes that we don’t think of this unique place as a gift to those of us who work here, to the wildlife that abounds here, to the coast of Maine and to the international community of estuaries, and of course to our members and to the public.

Because so much of our operating support comes from our members and donors, we believe it is in the best service to you and your gifts that we operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

This winter, we undertake an experiment to see just how efficient we can be. Every practice and habit we have is under scrutiny. To save on two of our greatest costs (heating oil and electricity), we will close the public areas of the Visitor Center in the farmhouse and the Coastal Ecology Center from December 22 through March 31.

During this low-traffic period, our offices will only be open Mondays through Thursdays, with a virtual office reachable by phone and email on Fridays. While we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, we must balance the privations of austerity with the energy savings and environmental gains from using less fossil fuel during the quiet winter months.

But don’t worry: our trails and public restrooms will be open 7am to sunset every day through the winter. We will also be fully open during the February 19-22 school vacation week and hope to see many of you here at our annual Winter Wildlife Day on Thursday, February 21, for animals, hot cocoa, and even sledding (if there’s snow).

While we redouble our efforts to conserve energy, we will also be investing $150,000 in solar power. By next spring, we expect to install the first of many new solar panels on the roof of the Coastal Ecology Center. With support from NOAA, the Davis Conservation Foundation, Consigli Construction, Thornton Tomasetti, and our members, we are taking this first step on a long-term conservation initiative. We expect this project to yield considerable savings in the coming decades and also to highlight areas for further streamlining.

We do this for you, for the environment, and for our bottom line. Please call the Trust at 646-4521 with questions, comments, and even suggestions for additional conservation measures — we always appreciate hearing from you.

Published as "Gifts that Give Back" in the Fall 2012 Watermark

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