Cope Environmental Center

Cope Environmental Center

4910 Shoemaker Road
Centerville, IN 47330

Cope Environmental Center is here to help our community make sense of sustainability.  This commitment to the environment stems from a long tradition of environmental stewardship dating back to pre-organization days.  Our founders, Jim & Helen Cope and Fran Parks made conservation a  way of life and dedicated themselves to teaching others the importance of sustainability.

  • The Sustainable Living Demonstration Home is the previous home of Gertrude “Lucky” Ward which was donated to CEC along with over 70 acres of land in 1997. An initial remodeling was completed in 1999. In 2005 CEC dedicated this early 1900’s farmhouse to as our Sustainable Living Demonstration Home.
  • The Green Building: 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 also withstand hurricane (or tornados in Indiana) strength winds. We used the Aryxx brand of ICFs. The roof is a recycled plastic lifetime roofing product called Ondura. It can be purchased at local home improvement stores. It is a little more expensive initially, but it is guaranteed to last the life of the building.
  • Composting Toilet: Visitors to CEC use a composting toilet located behind the Education Center. 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.
  • BioDiesel: CEC received a grant from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation for the purchase of a FuelMeister II biodiesel production system. This system allows us to use waste vegetable oil (old fryer oil) along with methanol & lye and convert it into diesel or “biodiesel” fuel to be used in our tractors, mowers, & car. All of the materials and supplies for this project were purchased in Indiana.
  • Ecofan: CEC heats the Administration Building during the day with a wood stove using wood from the property. To increase the efficiency of this system, we use an Ecofan. These fans are self-propelled with their own motor “driven” by the heat of your stove. The hotter the stove, the faster the blades spin to draw hot air rising from the back of your stove and push it out into the room.