Going Green

Jamestown Audubon president Ruth Lundin and her husband, Paul Hedberg, have received a bill from the electric company that shows a credit balance for three months in a row. That’s why their home, as well as the Audubon Center building, will be on the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Green Buildings Open House tour on Saturday.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. visitors are invited to the Lundin-Hedberg home and the Audubon Center to learn how both these buildings have made substantial utility savings, and what applications one might make to their own home. The Lundin-Hedberg home has saved $4,111 annually and the Audubon Center has saved $3,176.

The Lundin-Hedberg home was built with green systems and materials which will be showcased and explained during the open house. It features many re-used materials, straw bale insulation, radiant heating, a “living” roof and solar energy for heat and electricity. Low V-factor paints, glues and finishes were used and local materials were sourced whenever possible. Visitors may also note countertops, light fixtures, window seats and more.

The Lundin-Hedberg home is in the town of Busti at 4307 Nutt Road in Jamestown. The Audubon Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren, Pa.

Visitors to the Busti home are to park on the street, as the driveway is for handicapped parking only. Donations for the Audubon Center and Sanctuary will be accepted.

In 2006, Audubon adopted a sustainability plan for its 14,000-square-foot facility. The plan included purchasing low-energy light bulbs for exhibits, new Energy Star freezers for food storage for Liberty, the Bald Eagle, and putting several appliances on timers so they were not always “on” and using energy. These, plus heightened awareness of “energy hogs” identified by an amp meter, resulted in a cut of energy consumption by 37 percent four years later. With the installation of solar panels, purchases from the grid have declined 62 percent. In 2008, Audubon was recognized at the Chautauqua County Energy Conference and Expo when it received one of the first “Innovative Energy Initiative” awards.

There is no charge to visit Audubon’s grounds. Saturday’s regular admission to the Nature Center of $6 per person applies; children and Friends of the Nature Center are free. Exhibits, in addition to Energy Savings, include: pollination, raptors of the region, and discovery room of area reptiles and amphibians.

For more information about the Audubon Center and Sanctuary, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.