The Natural Area General Improvements consisted of renovation to the Nature Center building, replacement of historic Walker Cabin roof, reconstruction of pedestrian bridge over Placerita Creek to existing picnic area, and new domestic water service to Walker Ranch campground. Renovation to the Nature Center included refurbishment to existing walls, roof, restrooms, outdoor entrance courtyard, and new retail space addition. Nature Center improvements scope included installation of a new efficient air conditioning equipment, replacement of septic sewer system, rework of ADA parking area and ramp. Placerita Canyon Natural Area's mission is "to inspire a passion, awareness and respect for the environment, and to preserve and protect for future generations the history and ecosystems of Placerita Canyon. In consideration of the mission statement, the project was designed and construction to be certified for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design in compliant with United States Green Building Council standards for existing buildings. The Placerita Canyon project was the first County facility to receive LEED-EB certification. Achievement of LEED-EB certification for the project set precedence to implement LEED-EB certification at other County facilities. The project received LEED Silver Certification in August 2010.
Benefits to Environmental Resources
The project optimized energy performance and water use efficiency, enhanced the sustainability of the site, improved indoor and outdoor environmental quality, and maximized the use and reuse of sustainable, recycled, and local resources.
- Native seed planting program helps propagate native Oak trees.
- Wood members used in remodel were sustainably harvested.
- Waste water is treated on site and returned to the earth through septic tank and leach field.
- All-natural landscape was planted around Nature Center to avoid need for irrigation sprinkler system.
- Restroom faucets are on timers.
- New erosion control measures were implemented to protect picnic areas.
- New efficient air conditioning units heat and cool the Nature Center. Existing ducts were reused. Exterior walls are sealed, and doors and windows weather-strip.
- Energy efficient lighting fixtures are controlled by motion sensors.
- Highly efficient MERV 13 filters in air conditioning system filter small particles from the ventilation and return systems.
- ”Green Seal Certified” labeled soap and cleaning products guaranty reduction of toxic pollutants and waste.
- During renovation, over 75% of demolition waste was sorted and recycled including wood, metals, and concrete.
- Carpet is a “Cradle to Cradle” product made from 100% recycled material and is 100% recyclable at end of its life.
- Pedestrian bridge is constructed of Trex decking, a product made of 50% recycled plastic grocery bags and 50% reclaimed wood such as sawdust and used wooden pallets.
Contribution to wellbeing of DPW and the County
The new facility enhances cultural, recreational and educational opportunities for residents and visitors.
Contribution to Economic Health
The project is an investment in public infrastructure and reduced operation and maintenance costs.