Monday, November 14, 2011

Eco-Monday: A Green Wedding

As a local to the Annapolis area, I had visited the Phillip Merrill Environmental Center many times on field trips and for several research projects. However, it was not until recently that I discovered they also hosted gorgeous water front weddings and boasted the title of "one of the world's most energy-efficient buildings." 

Opening in 2001, this building hosts the headquarters for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). This foundation is dedicated to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay as well as educating people of all ages about their role in Bay conservation. The unique location of this building, situated right between Black Walnut Creek and the Bay, really emphasized the need for an eco-friendly establishment. First, the CBF created several unique structures on the premises that have aided in waterlife restoration. Man made wetlands allow storm water to pass through a natural treatment center before running off into the Bay. They have also planted many native plants, such as underwater grasses and trees in order to restore habitats for animals that may have been misplaced by housing developments.  

As far as the building goes, almost all of the materials used are recycled and renewable. Cork is the largest used material throughout the building as it makes up the wall panels and flooring. Bamboo was used for all the stairs as well as the main lobby flooring. Huge cisterns placed on the roof capture rain water and redistribute it throughout the building for everyday water needs. The toilets don't use water and instead boast a composting system that eliminates the amount of sewage being processed which in turn cuts down on nutrient pollution. 

Now, the icing on the cake, they do weddings! With their dedication to saving the Bay, the venue is surrounded by "acres of unspoiled beauty." Seeing as the venue is placed right on the beachfront, the amount of natural lighting and breathtaking bay views are unbeatable. For your guests, the venue is just minutes from historic downtown Annapolis, and yet has a great secluded feel that makes your wedding intimate and unique. With a list of great preferred vendors, such as Main Ingredient for catering, Ego Media for photography, and The Gateway Florist for flowers, your event will have everything it needs to be successful! 

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