Published on August 23, 2021

Sanctuary's Brand-New Discovery Center is Now Open!

The completed Long Pasture Discovery Center in August 2021

Long Pasture's new, universally-accessible, net-zero energy Discovery Center is now open to the public!

Funded through a successful $1.8 million capital campaign, the building is located next to the sanctuary's original nature center, The Parker House, which formerly served as a private home. Despite the difference in age, the two structures are both compatible and complimentary.

"The Discovery Center isn't only about a new, modern building," says Ian. "Just as important are the exterior improvements that create a campus with updated access for everyone in our community. It'll provide the space our excellent programs need and allow for more community activities."

DC auditorium_resized
Accessible, Energy-Efficient Building

The 1,700-square-foot Discovery Center offers modern accessibility and multi-functional space, including two meeting rooms that are each equipped with 80-inch video screens for presentations. The two spaces can open into one large auditorium accommodating up to 80 people.

Sinks and counter space support hands-on school programs like science labs. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of Night Heron Pond and Barnstable Harbor. There's also a visitors center for educational displays and artifacts.

Solar panels on the roof will make the Discovery Center a net-zero building in terms of energy use.

Multi-Functional Campus

The Discovery Center also includes several outdoor break-out spaces. A new walkway between the building and the Parker House opens into a wide patio with seating and an expansive view of the harbor, a perfect gathering spot for outdoor programs or special events.

A future plan calls for an All Persons Trail and a three-season pavilion to accommodate visitors and program participants of all ages in an outdoor, sheltered setting.

The Discovery Center will allow Long Pasture to triple its program space. But Ian says the overall look and feel of the sanctuary haven't changed. "We do fantastic work here and the Discovery Center will enable us to do it even better," he says. "The flavor and scale of Long Pasture remain the same."