Land & Environment

Discovering Wetlands

Utah State University is moving forward with construction of Wetland Discovery Point, a year-round, indoor and outdoor classroom at the Utah Botanical Center (UBC) in Kaysville. 

The Utah Legislature provided $950,000 in 2007 to advance the creation of this facility. Last year’s legislative appropriation, partnership with Kaysville City and significant support from private donors and the Utah Division of Water Quality are combining to make Wetland Discovery Point a reality. Construction begins spring 2008. Completion is scheduled for fall 2008.

Why Build It?
Utah’s growing population, future economic development and quality of life depend on wise use of natural resources. The Utah Botanical Center plays an important role in demonstrating and teaching the kind of sustainable environmental stewardship that is crucial to Utah’s future. Wetland Discovery Point will allow the Utah Botanical Center’s education program to expand its reach well beyond the nearly 4,000 students and teachers who currently visit the center on field trips each year. With the addition of this unique facility, 8,000-10,000 students will be accommodated, and the building will be available for other public events.


UBC field trips are tied to the state’s science core curriculum and activities are centered on learning goals for each grade level. Teachers are provided with curriculum and activities to use in their classrooms to encourage more investigation and learning before and after UBC field trips.

Students explore a range of topics, including:
  • Wetland ecology
  • Energy conservation
  • Wise water use
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Insects
  • Air quality
  • Stormwater management
  • Horticulture

The Building

Wetland Discovery Point will feature a flexible classroom space for up to 60 students, a gathering area with a wide view of the UBC ponds and the Wasatch Mountains, and a deck and boardwalks that will serve as outdoor learning areas.

The 3,200 sq. ft. building will qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest certification attainable from the U.S. Green Building Council. There are currently fewer than 75 LEED Platinum-certified buildings in the United States and none are in Utah.

The building will be the centerpiece of the UBC’s education program and a highly visible example of sustainable design and construction to Center visitors and the tens of thousands of people who pass the UBC each day on I-15 in Kaysville.

Designed by Salt Lake City-based AJC Architects, and to be built by Big-D Construction. Wetland Discovery Point will demonstrate sustainable building principles, including:

  • Collecting and storing rainwater for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing
  • On-site bio-filtration for sewage treatment
  • Use of natural light and passive solar methods to reduce energy needs
  • Solar panels to generate electricity
  • Ground-source heating and cooling
  • Radiant floor transfer of heating and cooling
  • Utah native plant landscaping

Wetland Discovery Point will be key to advancing the mission of the Utah Botanical Center which is to guide the conservation and wise use of plant, water and energy resources through research-based educational experiences, demonstrations and technologies.

Writer: Tim Vitale, 435-797-1356, 
February 2008

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A rendering of Wetland Discovery Point

Wetland Discovery Point will be the centerpiece of the Utah Botanical Center's education program.

Mark Larese-Casanova teaches children

Mark Larese-Casanova teaches children at the Utah Botanical Center.


Utah 280stories Education 173stories Land-Grant 110stories

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