CBF Announces $20 Million Campaign for Pleasure House Point
BROCKS MAKE LEAD GIFT FOR LIVING BUILDING; LYNNHAVEN RIVER NOW TO CO-LOCATE
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today announced a $20 million fundraising campaign to build a cutting-edge environmental center, enhance environmental education, improve habitat, and create a venue for community collaboration at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach.
The campaign includes $10 million to acquire land and construct a state-of-the-art “Living Building”; $5 million for programs to improve water quality, including advocacy, environmental education, restoration, and outreach; and $5 million to endow the center and its education and community programs.
The new center at Pleasure House Point will be named the Brock Environmental Center.
“We thank Joan and Macon Brock for their leadership gift to our Pleasure House Point campaign,” CBF President William C. Baker said at a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the conservation of the 118-acre Pleasure House Point natural area. “Their vision, stewardship, and generosity are inspirational. The Brock Environmental Center will be a symbol of the Brocks’ positive and enthusiastic support for conservation and clean water in the Hampton Roads community.”
To date, the CBF campaign, which is led by Jane Batten, Lucius Kellam, and Preston White, has raised approximately 70 percent of its funding goal.
CBF proposes to construct the Brock Environmental Center on a small section of a 10-acre parcel that CBF is purchasing from the Trust for Public Land. CBF intends that the center meet the “Living Building Challenge™,” a set of strict environmental standards established by the International Living Future Institute that requires the facility to have “net zero” impact on the environment. As such, the center would be the first of its kind in Virginia and among only 18 prospective Living Buildings on the East Coast. CBF also will seek the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating for the center.
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a leader in environmental initiatives, championing collaboration with local conservation groups in support of clean waterways and the Chesapeake Bay itself,” said Macon Brock. “To foster this important work, the Brock Environmental Center will be a destination for environmental education and cooperation in the Hampton Roads community. This project is an unparalleled chance for conservation, education, restoration, and community-building, one that we are honored to support.”
The Brock Environmental Center will serve as a place for local conservation organizations to collaborate, and accordingly Baker announced today that Lynnhaven River NOW will join CBF in sharing office space at the Brock Environmental Center.
“CBF has a long history of partnering with local watershed groups, and we are very excited about this new opportunity to collaborate with Lynnhaven River NOW at Pleasure House Point,” Baker said.
Lynnhaven River NOW Executive Director Karen Forget said, “Lynnhaven River NOW is thrilled that the Pleasure House Point property will be protected and restored for current and future citizens of Virginia Beach to enjoy and learn more about our amazing natural world.
“We look forward to partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in the state-of-the-art eco-friendly center on the Pleasure House Point property and to the future opportunities for learning and building stewardship that it will offer all of us.”
Today’s ribbon-cutting brought together the City of Virginia Beach, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), CBF, government and corporate officials, and community members to celebrate the permanent conservation of Pleasure House Point, a quiet peninsula of beach, marsh, and maritime forest on the Lynnhaven River near the Lesner Bridge. The property was acquired last summer after a successful conservation effort by the city, TPL, CBF, and the community to purchase and protect it from large-scale development. Just a few years earlier, the property was privately owned and slated for an intense 1,100-home development called Indigo Dunes.
Partnering with CBF to create the Brock Environmental Center are SmithGroupJJR, one of the largest architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the nation and the designer of CBF’s LEED Platinum headquarters building in Annapolis, Md.; Hourigan Construction, an award-winning builder that has constructed multiple projects in the Hampton Roads region and across Virginia; Skanska (owner’s representative), one of the nation’s largest, most reputable construction and project management service providers with exceptional credentials in green and sustainable construction; and WPL Site Design, a Virginia Beach-based environmental landscape architectural, surveying, and civil engineering firm.