The Cascade Meadow building and site demonstrate some of the key practices of sustainability. When you visit, take some time for a self-guided tour of our themed trails described below.
Wetlands Trails Opening in June 2014!
Our three-year process to restore the ninety acres of wetlands and prairies on our site is about to pay off for our visitors! Much work has been done, including a controlled burn to cleared out invasive Reed Canary grass and soil preparation for seeding with native wetland and prairie plants. This June we will open trails in the natural areas so that visitors can explore the wetlands and prairie habitats up close! The trails will take visitors through seven different types of wetlands (there are eight in all of Minnesota) and three examples of prairies and demonstrate why each one is unique and important.
Sustainable Building Trail
This “trail” tells the story of the planning, design, and construction of Cascade Meadow and shows how sustainability guided all of the decisions and processes. Every step of the way, teams made sustainable choices. As visitors follow the signs and icons along the “trail,” they’ll see the wall types (insulated concrete forms and structural insulation panels), rain screen, green roof, solar thermal for domestic water, geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling, on-site electrical generation through wind and solar panels, and other sustainable construction practices and finishing materials choices.
Storm Water Trail
Sustainable care of storm water means slowing it and soaking it in on our site. Follow this trail around our building to see how we do that using pervious pavements, a bio-retention cell system, native plantings, green roofs, and additional landscape designs.
Explore another path to sustainability with this trail about Cascade Meadow’s energy systems. Highlighted systems on the trail include two different wind turbines, three different photovoltaic solar panel arrays, solar hot water panels, and a geothermal system for heating and cooling the building.
Please note: Although we love our furry best friends, we must ask that you leave your dog at home. This will protect the waters of Cascade Creek, protect the growing wildlife population in our wetlands, and ensure that all visitors can have close encounters with beautiful and fascinating plants and wildlife. Thank you for your cooperation.