Porous paving bricks in the parking lot and solar panels in the back make it easy to understand why the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi's new community center has received environmental honors from a national organization.
The building along Dailey Road also features native plants growing on a roof section to insulate and reduce water runoff. It has a geothermal heating and cooling system, a berm insulating one side of the building and a passive solar system with glass walls facing south. It has a 12-inch concrete floor.
"We wanted the community center to be a gathering space for our members and also reflect our values and the idea of not doing too much damage to the Earth," said tribal spokeswoman Paige Risser. "The upfront costs may be higher but people will save in the long-term."
...The center is next to the band's Pokegnek Edawat Village residential development, about a mile from tribal headquarters. The site is ideal because it's within walking distance of the neighborhood, she said.