Friday, April 13, 2007

"Honoring the earth" at the N.C. Botanical Garden

A Carolina blue sky fell generously on the North Carolina Botanical Garden yesterday at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Visitor Education Center. Long in the making, this building, designed by Frank Harmon, promises to be the state's first Platinum LEED-certified building.


One of the major investors in this landmark project is the UNC student body. They are contributing $210,000 toward construction of the center's geothermal well system.

Introduced by Chancellor James Moeser, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue gave the dedicatory address. She was followed by Peter White, director of the Garden.

Peter regularly bikes to work. Some of us had never seen him in a suit. So it didn't seem all that strange to notice, as he talked, a tent caterpillar crawling up his neatly pressed left pant leg. Then on to the jacket, then disappearing under the arm for a time, to emerge on the upper arm. On to the shoulder, lifting its head up like a periscope, then back down the arm a bit, then up and--would it happen?--yes! on to the collar of Peter's nice blue shirt, headed for paydirt. At which time comes Lily, daughter of Carol Ann McCormick, assistant curator of the Herbarium, to coax the critter away with a billcap. It was a proud moment of animal rescue--either way you look at it.

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