Published on June 18, 2021

Discovery Center to Support Sanctuary’s Work & Local Community

Sanctuary Director Ian Ives next to the new walkway leading to the Discovery Center

Sanctuary Director Ian Ives becomes visibly excited when he talks about the approaching opening of Long Pasture's new Discovery Center.

Funded through a successful $1.8 million capital campaign, the construction of this new multi-function building also includes the implementation of extensive campus-wide improvements, such as universal accessibility features.

The new building is located next to the sanctuary's existing Nature Center, which formerly served as a private home. Despite the difference in age, the two structures are both compatible and complimentary.

"The Discovery Center project isn't only about this 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 an exhibit hall 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 construction of the Discovery Center, which began in July 2019, also includes the creation of several outdoor break-out spaces. Ian says a new walkway between the building and the existing Nature Center will open 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.

When the Discovery Center is completed, it will allow Long Pasture to triple its program space. But Ian says the look and feel of the sanctuary will remain the same. "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 will remain."