Alton, Ill. – Beginning May 6, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station will be open for public tours.
For the first time since its opening and dedication on Oct. 26, 2010, guests can enjoy a guided visit of the 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art, sustainable research facility, which has already won a national award for its green roof design and serves as a model for green construction while aiming for LEED platinum certification – the highest sustainable rating possible.
Named after Congressman Jerry F. Costello for his critical role in establishing the region as a nexus for research and policy related to water, energy and the environment, the facility is home to the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center – a product of a unique educational partnership formed in 2001 among Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey.
The site, unique because of its strategic location near the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers, gives local and visiting researchers access to the river, riverine mesocosms and wet lab facilities to conduct unique experiments in studying the river system. It also serves as an educational hub for the community.
Visitors will learn about the building’s various sustainable elements, including solar and hydro-kinetic systems, internal and external water recycling systems, and an IDOT roadway with pervious pavers and bioswales that divert and retain stormwater, and will enjoy the view of the landscape, with all its native plants and grasses, from the facility’s vegetated roof.
Volunteer-led tours, which will take place on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., are scheduled to follow the 10 a.m. tours of the Great Rivers Museum in Alton, although guests can choose to attend one or both. Those choosing to attend both will have approximately 15-30 minutes to make their way from the museum to the field station to start the tour.
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