Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Inside Fernald Preserve

The latest stop on the Green Bags Eco-Lunch Series was the newly-opened Fernald Preserve in Crosby Township.

The 1,050-acre site formerly operated as a uranium processing facility to produce high-purity uranium metal products for the nation's Cold War weapons production program between 1951 and 1989.

The preserve now has 140 acres of wetland habitat, 400 acres of forests, and 300 acres of grasslands, all intertwined with a series of walking trails.

A 10,000-square-foot visitors center, designed and constructed by Megen Construction Company and the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, is the reuse of a warehouse built in 2000 as part of the $4.4 billion cleanup of the Superfund site.

The visitors center has a multipurpose meeting room and an excellent exhibit that traces the property's history from its Native American inhabitants, its pioneer and farming days, its use by the government, and its return to nature.

The U.S. Department of Energy and contractor S.M. Stoller Corporation have enough points to achieve LEED Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council, and are pursuing LEED Platinum.

This tour includes photos of the grounds, exteriors of the visitors center, interiors of the visitors center, and shots of the exhibit and some of the artifacts.

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