A Commitment to Mother Earth
The Pokagon Band Community Center, at 27043 Potawatomi Trail (off of Dailey Road) embodies the Band’s mission to preserve Mother Earth, with such low-impact design features as solar panels, a green roof and geothermal heating. It’s the first building in southwest Michigan to earn a gold-level (or silver) certification in LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 8,500 square-foot building was developed in a culturally and environmentally sensitive way, in harmony with the Band's heritage, and serves as a central gathering space for meetings and celebrations for citizens and their government's staff.
It all starts with its location in the heart of the traditional Pokagon homeland, where it minimizes the impact to the land and surroundings. The lobby entrance features an eastern orientation, and incorporates cabinetry displaying tribal art and cultural items. In the main meeting room, the turtle-shaped ceiling panels and floor design represent one of the tribe's traditional clans. The Potawatomi are known as the Keepers of the Fire, so a large, outdoor fire pit adds both cultural and recreational value. Eight acres have been restored to native grasses and drought-resistant landscaping. With such features as local building materials, tinted insulated glass and light-colored roofing, the building helps educate not only Pokagons but the wider community on the value of sustainable development.