Who is building the
Environmental Education Center? FOGRA (Friends of the Glen Rock Arboretum)
is a 501(C)3 Non-Profit Organization responsible for maintaining &
developing the Thielke Arboretum. They conceived the idea about a decade ago
and have been planning / refining / fundraising / spreading the word since
What is the purpose of
the Education Center? The 2 main functions
of the center are below:
- Providing a learning
focal point for visitors and class trips. Starting your visit with an idea of
“what’s out there & what to look for” and a space to recap and reinforce
what was seen at the end of a visit promotes a strong learning experience and
will greatly enhance the enjoyment for students and regular visitors alike.
Also – shelter in inclement weather & bathrooms!
- On-site office & meeting space and
restroom facilities for the volunteers that work to maintain the arboretum.
Volunteers spend thousands of hours and come from all over Bergen County &
beyond. Currently, there are no bathrooms or facilities to wash up after
working for hours. There is no place to store the files, maps and reference
materials used every day.
What is the master plan
(mission statement)? To
build a classroom in the woodlands and a gathering place for the community. The
center will take the arboretum into its next phase of use and enjoyment.
Who will own the
building? The building is being
paid for by FOGRA and donated to
Is this a Commercial
Development? No. This misleading
term insinuates the facility will be used as a new banquet center or party
facility and/or retail store.
The term “commercial establishment” means an establishment used for commercial purposes, such as bars, restaurants,
private offices, fitness clubs, oil rigs, retail stores, banks and financial
institutions, supermarkets, auto and boat dealerships, and other
What is the size of the
building? The building will be 1,750ft2 or cover .00365 of the land in the arboretum
(under 4/10 of 1%).
Is this a wetlands /
protected area?NO. The area is neither a
wetlands nor a transition area. Maps of the proposed location are available at glenrockarboretum.org/Pages/FEMAMaps.aspx
Who will pay for:
Will pay for design & construction with private donations
Electric & water are estimated (conservatively) at $500/month
Will continue paying for Directors & Officers Liability
The arboretum will
remain under the Boro Liability Umbrella, as all town facilities are
Will pay for technology, computers, internet access, etc.
Chairs & Desks
Will outfit the facility, inside & out
Will set aside $2,000 per year in reserve to cover expenses
Will be responsible for daily cleaning & maintenance
Will pay for security systems
Volunteers led by FOGRA will staff the Center
How long will
construction take? Our current plan
is panelized construction. These panels are made offsite and assembled onsite
in 3-5 days. Finishing work will take another month, with workers parking in
the arboretum or pool lot, minimizing disruption to the neighborhood.
Is there a construction
performance bond? Yes. The
construction performance bond will be purchased by the contractor and has been
allowed for in our cost estimates.
How much will the
project cost? Our current
estimate is $638,000, developed with 3 architectural firms and a leading panelized
construction firm, the town Engineer, reviewed by multiple contractors. We have
been lowering the cost with trade donations and better pricing on some
Is that a lot for a 1,750ft2 building? Yes. The design incorporates high quality
materials like cellulose insulation (85% recycled, no outgassing, great R-Value
& low embodied energy) with 2% of the energy that is used
for foam and 10% of that for fiberglass. The budget includes
an ADA Compliant design, and public buildings are required to follow
‘Prevailing Wage’ rules, which impacts labor rates for most laborers.
Will the building and
site be ADA compliant? Yes,
the building was designed compliant and all requirements for compliance are in
Who handles use requests? As it has been, FOGRA will control use via
our agreement/lease with the borough but anyone can use the arboretum if they
agree to the terms of our Use Agreement (similar to other Arboretum contracts).
This Use Agreement has been in place for years, there’s nothing new.
How many visitors
monthly? Once fully
operational visitors should average 200-400 per month (excluding events &
the thousands of volunteer hours already spent there each year to maintain and
beautify the arboretum).
Who will run the classes
and summer camp? Volunteers run all
How many bathrooms and
stalls? Two unisex restrooms.
One is handicap accessible.
Will there be any
selling of goods or services on site? There is no Gift Shop. The closest we’d get to a commercial
enterprise is to sell baked goods at a fishing derby, etc.
Will residents &
family have to pay fees? No,
there will not be a fee to visit the Education Center. There will be a nominal
fee to hold an event, and there may be a donation box.
Will applications be
made to zoning board? The town will
handle zoning issues because it’s on town property.
Will the Mayor and
council members be permanent members of Arboretum Board of Governors? No, we will continue to report to the
council as we always have.
Will future revenue be
given to Glen Rock? No. This is not a
revenue generating facility. It is designed to be a place for learning,
inspiration, and support to the many visitors to the arboretum. Additional
funds would be placed in the repairs reserve and to maintain and support the
Has there been an
environmental impact study? No.
This building will cover .00365 of the land in the arboretum (under 4/10 of
1%). The building will follow LEEDS (Leadership in Environmental and Energy
Design) standards. These comprehensive design and construction standards help
assure that there is minimal impact in all areas of design and construction.
This building will have minimal impact.
Has there been a traffic
impact study? No. This building
will have far fewer visitors than, for example, the pool next
door. Our prime visitor traffic is expected to be during the school year
(September – November, and February – June), and during school hours. It is
expected that school groups would park in the pool lot. We can’t accept
large groups, as we try to provide Docents for every 6-8 children – we just
don’t have that many available volunteers.
How will police / fire /
waste collection access the building if it is in the arboretum? The building will have about the same setback
off Doremus as your home. Access is not an issue.