Esther Underwood Johnson Nature Center at Wellfleet Bay

The nature center at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The beautiful Esther Underwood Johnson Nature Center is an award-winning green building. Within the building there are exhibits, a Green Building "Trail", and a gift shop. Just outside, visitors can take a stroll through our beautiful wildlife garden or venture further afield to explore 5 miles of trails.

About the Building

In 2006, Wellfleet Bay expanded and renovated the nature center, incorporating numerous green building design principles and features into the new plans. Our goal was to meet the highest level of environmental and sustainability standards as set forth by the global LEED program, which provides voluntary standards of quality and achievement in green building. 

We installed the most advanced roof, window, and ventilation designs available to minimize energy consumption. To lessen the building's impact on land and conserve water, we installed a rainwater re-use system, composting toilets, and a graywater bog garden.

After its completion in 2008, the redesigned Wellfleet Bay Nature Center was awarded Platinum LEED certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC)—the highest rating available. 


Exterior of WB Nature Center showing garden & solar panels

Climate Action Center

Mass Audubon has designated Wellfleet Bay as a Climate Action Center to lead our community in the fight against climate change.


Woman with children at solar energy sign

Our Green Features

Wellfleet Bay is doing our part to leave a lighter footprint on the environment by utilizing green technology, conserving energy, and educating our visitors through informative displays about our conservation features and photovoltaic arrays.


21kW solar array at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Solar Energy

We're solar powered! Wellfleet Bay has four photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays, ground- and/or roof-mounted, as well as solar thermal systems to meet all hot water needs. You can see the energy production from our arrays charted in graph format.


Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Green Building Trail Map

Green Building Trail

What exactly makes our Nature Center “green"? Find out on a self-guided tour of our building and grounds, where you'll familiarize yourself with some of the most environmentally-friendly aspects of our sanctuary!