Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
point boardwalk at with marsh and sun setting
Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick © Sean Seltzer

Saltonstall Nature Center at Broadmoor

Converted from an antique horse barn built in 1911, the Saltonstall Nature Center, renovated in 1983, and again in 2013, uses a variety of environment friendly materials and employs renewable resources as natural energy. The design harnesses natural ventilation, sunlight, heat pumps, and solar heating all working together to reduce energy consumption.

In 1985, the Saltonstall Nature Center was recognized and received a Special Award for Energy Innovation from the US Department of Energy—one of 21 awards given nationwide. In 2013, floor area was added to create a welcome center, space was renovated for classrooms, and insulation and windows were replaced with more energy efficient options. 

It's all about conserving energy!

The ceiling and walls of the nature center are super insulated and updated windows are triple or quadruple-paned glass. With solar heat providing most of the winter heating needs, a woodstove provides additional heat, and assembly and office space can be heated or cooled using energy-efficient electric heat pumps.

The natural ventilation system continuously provides fresh air throughout the seasons. The combination of solar heat, heat pumps, and super insulation keeps the indoor temperature warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Ceiling fans in all rooms circulate the air and provide sufficient cooling on all but the warmest days.

The Saltonstall Nature Center features composting toilets, which can save over 2.2 million gallons of water in a 20-year period. A Smart Storm system also conserves water; it collects and stores 1,200 gallons of rainwater from the building's roof, which is used for landscaping purposes around the sanctuary.

To reduce the need for artificial lighting, the building bounces natural sunlight from the large, picturesque windows into the rooms. Energy from photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the nature center and maintenance barn provide 20 kW of electricity. All lighting is LED bulbs which further reduces the electric demand of the building.

Come visit the Saltonstall Nature Center and see this amazing building at work! Also come enjoy Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary's nine miles of walking trails through a variety of woodland, field, and wetland habitats.

Details behind the Saltonstall Nature Center

In 1981-83 Broadmoor raised the money for the nature center renovation. More than 700 individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed. The Nature Center is named the Saltonstall Nature Center in memory of Richard and Mary B. Saltonstall, who were committed local conservationists. 

In 2013, additional space and renovations were made to the nature center thanks to a four-year long campaign to raise the funding. Hundreds of individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed to the campaign.

Architect: Ives Architects