Tom Ridge Environmental Center

About this Project

Erie is situated in northwestern Pennsylvania on the southern shore of Lake Erie.  It is across the lake from the Canadian province of Ontario.  The largest city in NW Pennsylvania, Erie has a rich history dating back to the Erie Nation Indian tribes.

The heritage of Erie includes some of the most beautiful landscapes around the lake including Presque Isle.  

Cavalier Hotel Skylight
Skylight over pool Cavalier

This 3200-acre sandy peninsula arcs out onto Lake Erie providing the largest fresh water beach in North America.  There are many plants and animals native to Presque Isle making a visit to the peninsula educational and fun.  That’s why the Tom Ridge Environmental Center was built.

At the gateway to the peninsula, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center is a 65,000 sq ft facility designed to symbolize Presque Isle.  Inside visitors find information about the history of the Isle, representations of the plants and animals, hands-on displays, an eatery, and a gift shop.  There is also a 75 ft viewing tower offering stunning views of the island and surrounding areas.

Growing greenhouse provides plants.

The growing greenhouse allows hands-on experiences for young visitors as well as a place for seedlings to reach maturity.

The growing greenhouse features many features to aid in the process including a watering system, automated shades and vents, and dual pane glass for safety.  Learn more about our greenhouse growing systems here.

The entire center is a sustainable building meaning it was built to the latest in “green design” standards.  The building received the 2007 American Society of Landscape Architects President’s Award for design-build projects in Delaware and Pennsylvania 

Crystal Structures was pleased to be a part of this project, providing a greenhouse to cultivate the indigenous plants for display in the environmental center.