ROCK PORT — A travelers' welcome center in northwest Missouri has become the first in the state to gain an environmental stamp of approval.
The state transportation department said the welcome center on Interstate 29 near Rock Port recently became the only one in Missouri to gain certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
The welcome center uses a ground-source heat pump, energy efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, low-volume toilets, temperature-controlled vending machines and sand-filtered wastewater treatment. It was built with minimal tree removal, and its landscaping includes native grasses that require less water.
Construction of the center was completed last summer at a cost of more than $5 million, with 80 percent of the funding coming from the federal government.