North Fork Leadership Center

Jacksonville, Florida

The Girl Scouts of Gateway Council has realized the first phase of a bold plan to build a new camp on 248 acres of pristine land bordered on two sides by Black Creek.   Leading to this milestone event were years of planning that involved girls, their families, adult volunteers, community members, staff, the design team, and the Board of Directors.   The unique north Florida site has open fields, remnants of dense pine forests formerly cultivated for wood pulp, hardwood forest stands, and rolling terrain. Built facilities include the Fishing Village and Arts Village cabins and pavilions, the Health and Aquatics Center, site utilities, roads, paths, fire circles, amphitheater, ranger’s residence, and Maintenance Center.

Practicing good environmental stewardship emerged as a one of the most significant design requirements from the project planning and design work sessions.

Site considerations include: preservation of pristine green space along the Black, minimize building footprints, minimize tree clearing to pines and scrub growth, save 100+ year old live oaks, enhance and expand wetlands, manage all storm water on site, and use manufacturing by-products for sub-base material in roads and trails.

Building designs integrated: recycled content and recyclable materials, efficient lighting, daylight harvesting, water saving fixtures, low VOC paints and sealants, composite siding and decking, natural ventilation, building shading, and utilization of locally manufactured materials.