Latest News

Night at the Disco ... 11/9/17

Visitors are invited to stop by the Discovery Center after normal business hours to play games, go on a guided hike and discover on this night, the exhibits come to life.

Smokey Bear Day 10/4/17

We will host our annual Smokey Bear Day on Monday October 9, 2017, 10am – 2pm at the Discovery Center.

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Green Building Tour

Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center sponsored by Trustco Awarded LEED® Gold Rating

On February 9th, 2010, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center, sponsored by TrustCo, was awarded a LEED® Gold rating, established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The planning and design of the Discovery Center, which ultimately included the LEED program element, began in 2004. During the next 5 years of planning, design, implementation and review, the LEED program had become the key guiding principle for the transition of a bank building to the development of the Discovery Center. What initially began as an effort to achieve a Basic LEED level rating, soon, with an energetic design team, turned to a goal of Silver and ended in Gold. It was the dedicated team effort and attention to detail that lead to the discovery of additional LEED points and ultimately the higher rating. The team that was charged with this responsibility included, but was not limited to, the Envision Architect team, the New York State Office of General Services, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission staff, and each and every contractor that worked on the project.

  • During the construction of the Discovery Center about 97% of the construction debris was recycled.
  • In the outdoor phase of this project, more than 750 tons of asphalt had been removed from the former parking areas and all of that was restored to pine bush habitat.
  • A ground mounted solar array was erected in the parking lot and, as of June 2011, has produced 27,352 kWh since September 2008. The solar panels have reduced the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by 46,355 pounds.
  • The remaining electrical power supply needed at the Discovery Center is purchased in the form of wind energy, a renewable resource. By buying wind energy we have reduced the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, which is responsible for global warming. The estimated environmental benefit is equivalent to planting over 600 acres of trees or not driving 1.6 million miles.
  • The outdoor restroom is a composting toilet system. In an underground storage tank, natural biological decomposition converts human waste into safe compost. Only 1/3 of a cup of water is used with every flush and more than 90% of the waste contributed is converted to water vapor and carbon dioxide gas.

Since 2004, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has provided the Pine Bush Commission with nearly $103,000 to help make this building sufficiently energy efficient and environmentally responsible to achieve LEED Gold certification. NYSERDA’s funding has supported energy and green building analysis, as well as incentives for installing energy efficiency measures including high efficiency lighting, an energy management system, high efficiency motors and a high performance building envelope. In addition, NYSERDA provided the Discovery Center with incentives for installing a solar photovoltaic system.

For additional information about our solar panels, Clivus Multrum restrooms, alternative energy, green building incentives or the LEED process, please visit the following websites:/

Discovery Center Green Building Partners

Envision Architects

Designed all phases of the LEED certified Discovery Center.

Alteris Renewables

Provided and installed solar panels.

Clivus Multrum

Provided and installed biological composting rest rooms.

NYSERDA

Provided incentives to assist with the green building goals.

US Green Building Council

Provided the process for LEED certification.

Community Energy

Provider of wind energy.