Volunteers deconstruct 1920s era barn in Marion for use in Amazing Space project

Lindsey Flannery
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May 5, 2014  This week, over 100 volunteers are assisting Indian Creek Nature Center in deconstructing a 1920s era barn, located at 4002 Winslow Road in Marion. The barn’s salvaged boards, sliding door hardware and more will be repurposed in the Nature Center’s new building, slated for construction in 2015 as part of the Amazing Space project.

The barn sits on land slated for commercial development as part of the Tower Terrace Road expansion project. Current landowners Dan Engle and Tim Mooney of Mooney-Engle Land Company LLC did not want to see the barn end up in the landfill, so they went to social media looking for anyone interested in tearing down and repurposing the barn. There, Engle connected with Indian Creek Nature Center Executive Director John Myers, who saw the barn’s potential.

“We made a conscientious choice to salvage the barn boards, save them from the landfill, and offset the number of trees being cut down for our new building. We will use them in public spaces to showcase the natural beauty of the wood and bring elements of the barn indoors,” Myers said. The Nature Center’s new campus will be Iowa’s largest sustainable, net-zero energy project, and the only Nature Center worldwide to pursue the Living Building Challenge certification.

Engle and Mooney are donating other structures on the farm to be repurposed as well, including the chicken coop and grain bin. “We’re pretty community-oriented, and we always try to do the right thing,” said Dan Engle. “Just because the barn has to come down, doesn’t mean it has to die.”

Project volunteers represent several organizations throughout the Corridor, including GE Capital, Transamerica, Alliant Energy, Marion High School, Eagle Scouts, and US Green Building Council.