The Nature Learning Center’s land—a farm turned second-growth forest—is one of three sanctuaries managed by TMCC and utilized for its nature programs. To preserve the historic orchards on the farm and minimize the intrusiveness of parking areas and driveways, the building was located near the road and an existing nineteenth-century barn, which was rehabilitated and now serves as a storage facility.
An area that had been previously logged was chosen as the site for the “solar cone”—the portion of the property where solar access was needed and would be improved by removing trees. This limited cutting to the smaller of the second-growth trees on the property. Small trees were sawed into firewood, while the larger ones were milled into sheathing and finish materials for the building. Opening up this solar cone allows the site to capture available sunlight for about 2.5 hours per day during the winter.