Our Impact



We are situated on over 130 acres in Centerville, Indiana. The property features over three miles of hiking trails meandering through hardwood forests, grasslands, over 12 acres of prairie, three wetlands, two ponds, and a significant collection of conifers. The Jim Cope Conifer Trail highlights over 50 different species of these conifers from around the world and was dedicated in 2002.


Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area

Extends from CEC at the north end to DNR-managed Brookville Reservoir at the south end. In between are Whitewater Memorial State Park (managed by DNR), five state-designated nature preserves owned and managed by Whitewater Valley Land Trust, and numerous private landholdings. The BLCA was created, because East-Central Indiana has long been identified as an area undeserved in public lands with biologically significant assets.


Children of Indiana Nature Park
What makes this park unique is that K-12 children from all over Indiana will be able to be part of Hoosier history and claim a bicentennial ceremonial deed of trust for a parcel of land. Through schools, libraries, or other community outlets, students will be able to obtain a deed that is unique to them. If a student is unable to physically visit the park, they can utilize a website being created by the Nature Conservancy that will allow a child to zoom in and see his or her parcel virtually. The project website will offer activities and online experiences focused on helping Hoosiers learn from, engage with, and be inspired by the state’s natural beauty. Hands-on activities and school programs will be led by CEC in the park. These activities along with conservation based curriculum written by CEC will be experienced by children throughout the state via nature centers that participate within the Bicentennial Nature Center Network.


Sustainable Visitor & Education Center

Our New Facility expands CEC’s capacity for environmental programs, serves as a community gathering space, and acts as a powerful teaching tool for sustainable living in East-Central Indiana. The building is the first registered Living Building Challenge project in Indiana, and CEC hopes it will achieve certification after a ‘year of review’. The building is a launching point and orientation space for the thousands of students and visitors from across the region coming to CEC to learn about conservation and visit the Children of Indiana Nature Park. The building aims to be net zero energy, water, and waste and primarily made of non-toxic, local and sustainable building materials. It will be the greenest building in Indiana, and it’s all for the kids!


Sustainable Living Demonstration Home
The SLDH is the previous home of Gertrude “Lucky” Ward which was donated to CEC in 1997. The purpose of the home is to provide the average homeowner with ways to make their homes and lifestyles more environmentally friendly. The final remodeling of this 1900’s farmhouse was completed in 2009. Sustainable features include solar panels, geothermal, sustainable Hardiplank cement fiber board siding, energy star metal roof, exterior rigid insulation, on demand water heater, & native landscaping, etc.


Sustainable Maintenance Workshop
This building was constructed in 2005 using insulated concrete forms. The structure’s forms are similar to giant CFC – free Styrofoam hollow building blocks. Once the walls are constructed, they are filled with concrete and provide a wall with an insulated value of R-50. These walls can withstand hurricane or tornado strength winds. We used the Aryxx brand of ICFs. The roof is a recycled plastic lifetime roofing product called Ondura and the siding is Hardiplank. 


Sap House
This building is constructed from ~98% recycled or reclaimed materials. The siding and door are from another building that was de-constructed on the property. The windows were found in our barn. The trusses were a mis-ordered product on their way to the landfill. The Ondura roof is a recycled plastic with lifetime durability. The flooring is made from broken chips of ceramics from a local company called Terra Green, which make beautiful ceramic tile using recycled glass. Terra Green uses it in their parking lot instead of gravel. The front deck and the observation platform is constructed with recycled plastic lumber.


Composting Outhouse
Visitors to CEC use a composting toilet located at CEC’s south entrance. The structure was installed over a decade ago and still works great! With regular rotation and added sawdust, the Clivus Multrum produces useable compost within six years. Many newer models produce even quicker (some within months) and can be installed inside the home. Read more about the trailhead model and others at www.clivusmultrum.com.