This year, North Shore Gas is delivering more than natural gas to the northern suburbs of Chicago. Through a generous donation, North Shore Gas has partnered with the Preservation Foundation and the Lake County Forest Preserve District to bring an active Living Wall to the District’s Greenbelt Cultural Center (GCC) in North Chicago, the first such installation east of the Mississippi.
"We deeply appreciate North Shore Gas’ leadership in providing the Living Wall’s cutting-edge technology to the Greenbelt Cultural Center,” said Ann Maine, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "Their commitment to this project is another example of North Shore Gas’ longtime partnership in providing environmental education opportunities to economically challenged communities in Lake County. We are grateful for their continued support.”
“We are committed to educating residents on energy efficiency and new technologies,” said Will Evans, President of North Shore Gas. “North Shore Gas is delighted to partner with the Preservation Foundation and the Forest Preserves to bring this cutting-edge technology to the Greenbelt Cultural Center.”
The GCC has experienced enormous success and growth in its first decade of operation. The public has been very supportive and positive about their experiences at the GCC, but increasingly are encountering constraints related to space and configuration.
The Forest Preserves are expanding and improving the GCC through an 11,400-square-foot addition. The expansion will help improve educational programming, better accommodate multiple groups simultaneously, and enhance the use of energy efficient green technologies. The expansion has been carefully studied to be the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive answer to the complex design issues that the Greenbelt site presents – offering flexibility while also providing for increased usability. It also offers an opportunity to use green technologies, the most prominent and visible of which will be the active Living Wall.
To be named in recognition of North Shore Gas’ gift, the active Living Wall is the signature element of the Greenbelt Cultural Center’s expansion project. An active living wall does more than provide oxygen to the air - it is integrated into a building’s HVAC system to reduce the amount of outside air required in the building, the tempering of which is one of the largest energy burdens. Air is drawn through a carefully structured plant system, which exposes the air to the roots of the plants. Microbes on the plant roots trap and ingest air pollutants, essentially creating a "vertical wetland" that cleans, rather than just filters, the air.
About the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves
This non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization raises private donations to preserve and protect the natural and cultural treasures of Lake County. The Preservation Foundation works with private individuals, corporations and foundations to provide critical support for our region’s land conservation, preservation, recreation and education, and other projects that are central to the mission of the Lake County Forest Preserves.
About the Lake County Forest Preserves
As Lake County’s principal guardian of open space and natural areas since 1958, the Lake County Forest Preserve District now manages 29,200 acres of land and offers innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy over 154 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, ponds and lakes for fishing, public golf courses, historical and cultural venues, public access to the Fox River, and award-winning nature and history education programs and events.
For a program calendar or additional information, visit www.LCFPD.org or call 847-367-6640.