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A groundbreaking ceremony was held Feb. 11 for the Bill and Jean Lane Education Center at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve on the western edge of Redwood City.
The $1.3 million center will be a showcase for environmental education and volunteerism, said Julia Bott, executive director of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation, which led the campaign to raise funds for the center.
The building will be 1,200 square feet with another 1,000 square feet for decks and amphitheaters.
A grand opening is expected to take place later this year, she said.
The center was named for Bill and Jean Lane of Portola Valley because of their many contributions to the community and to parks, said Rich Gordon, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
"The Lanes were instrumental in bringing about many of the treasures in our community that we enjoy today," he said in a statement. "They provided a significant gift toward building the center."
The center's design incorporates many "green" features, including reused materials, solar power, and insulation made from recycle blue jeans.
Built on the site of an old house and using existing oak trees for shade, the building will have two outdoor amphitheaters and exhibits that involve touch and listening, Ms. Bott said.
The education center will be a portal to the "natural wonders to be found at Edgewood," she said. Although the park is only one square mile in size, it is home to more than 500 plant species that provide habitat for frogs, lizards, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, deer, and more than 70 resident and migratory bird species, she said.
More than 100,000 people visit the park each year, Ms. Bott said.
Volunteers contribute more than 10,000 hours a year at Edgewood, she said, working on trail maintenance, removal of invasive weeds, and conducting spring wildflower walks and educational field trips for schools and youth groups.