The Flint Hills Discovery Center celebrated its first birthday on Saturday by hosting “Discovery Day 2013: Making a Difference”. The day featured several family-focused activities including: a three-floor scavenger hunt, recycling projects & educational display from the K-State Recycling Center, Flint Hills themed arts & crafts, and free admission.
“What an honor it was to be able to help sponsor this great event. We had nearly 3400 people that came in to see the Flint Hills Discovery Center. We had girl scouts from Marysville, Ks, the entire troop came down. We had countless soccer teams that were in town for a soccer tournament, that in-between their tournaments, they came down to enjoy the Flint Hills Discovery Center. We had families come from all over the Flint Hills region as well as local residents form here in Manhattan,” said Karen Hibbard, Vice-President for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as Director of Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Before the day’s activities began, the center held a LEED Gold certification ceremony and unveiling. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The Discovery Center was awarded the certification based on a variety of design and construction features, some of which include: a geo-thermal Heating and cooling system, use of LED or low-voltage lighting components, and two on-site bioswales used for groundwater filtration. “We just revealed our LEED Certified Gold status today. We’re the third public building in Manhattan to have LEED Certified Gold status, and we’re the first building belonging to the City of Manhattan to have LEED status whatsoever. So we’re really proud of that, and we want to be a shining example to the community of environmentalism and what you can do if you put forth some effort. I think we’ve done a great job to earn the status, we’ve done a great job to be an example and today’s just a a celebration of that,” said Travis Young, Education Specialist for history and culture for the FHDC.
Newly Hired FHDC Director, Fred Goss, was also introduced to the public on Saturday. Goss currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for the Missouri State Parks. He has held the positions of Consultant with the Cultural Resource Management Group, in Greensboro, NC and positions of Assistant Director, Interim Director and Graduate Student Internship/Farm Management for Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, KS. He will officially begin his employment with the City of Manhattan on May 1st.
Visit flinthillsdiscovery.org for more information on upcoming events including an on-going exhibit titled “Touch the Sky”, which features 44 framed photographs of the prairie taken by National Geographic photographer, Jim Brandenburg.