Much of the water flowing through Flat Rock Brook comes from runoff of rainfall and snow melt throughout the surrounding suburban developments. We are monitoring the following water characteristics to help people understand the impact they can have on aquatic ecosystems, to identify specific problems, and to work towards solutions of those problems.
Flat Rock Brook strives to use energy wisely. We conserve resources and rely on clean energy sources wherever possible. These practices save greenhouse gas emissions and other impacts of fossil fuel use. We also choose sustainable materials for construction projects and general office use, limiting the impacts of logging and quarrying. We manage our water resources efficiently and dispose of waste responsibly, including composting and recycling.
For electrical needs beyond what the solar panels provide, FRB relies solely on green energy sources, primarily wind. We purchase renewable energy certificiates from Sterling Planet who verifies that the amount of clean energy added to the grid equals Flat Rock Brook's annual energy use. This quantity of clean energy saves approximately 40,000 pounds of CO2 from being released each year, and reduces other pollutants and mining impacts.
FRB’s main boiler was designed to operate at a high efficiency level, saving energy and money.
FRB has 88 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the main building, supplying about half of the center’s electricity.
Specially designed solar tubes in our exhibit room ceiling let natural light into the room, saving electricity impacts and costs.
|A rain barrel next to the aviary collects rain runoff from the aviary roof for plant watering. The water collected is used by our land manager and by our volunteer gardeners to care for native plantings around the building; rain barrels save water resources and decrease surface runoff, which can carry pollutants and increase erosion in nearby streams.|
|Composting bins for food scraps are located in our Native Habitat Gardens. Waste is collected in our bins, decreasing the amount of matter that must get trucked off to landfills.|
|Sustainable wood was used for our new deck over Quarry Pond. The new observation and teaching deck was constructed from black locust, which is a very hard, rapidly growing, naturally rot resistant, sustainable wood source; a favorable alternative to tropical species and to wood pressure treated with harmful chemicals.|
|The raptor aviary was constructed from wood reclaimed from a Jersey City factory.|
|The amphitheater along the boardwalk reused stone blocks rather than purchasing newly quarried stone, limiting impacts of extraction.|
|Cork floor was installed in the main exhibit room. Cork is a sustainable, durable material that limits deforestation impacts. Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees; it is peeled off the tree without hurting the tree itself, making it a renewable resource with limited environmental impacts.|
|The recently renovated main staff office has a bamboo floor, another sustainably harvested material. Bamboo is related to grass, and it grows very rapidly; the stems are harvested and the roots quickly regenerate a new stem much faster than hardwood trees.|
|The wood used to renovate the classroom cabinets is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as sustainably harvested. FSC only certifies wood if it is harvested is a sustainable manner, taking into account environmental, social and economic criteria.|
|The countertops in the classroom are made from icestone, a durable product containing 70% recycled glass by weight. This material saves resources needed to manufacture countertops and prevents solid waste from going to landfills.|
|The paper used in our office copy machine and printers has 50% recycled content. Using recycled paper decreases the need to log trees, decreases energy and water pollution produced by manufacturing new paper, and decreases the amount of material that goes to landfills.|