The Nature Inn was designed to demonstrate responsible design and construction in a natural environment. Sited in a previously disturbed area of the park, the building maximizes views of the surroundings. Native plant species that require no irrigation have been reintroduced in the restored landscape. Rain gardens receive runoff from adjacent paved surfaces and improve surface water quality.
The Inn features local stone, Pennsylvania-harvested certified wood, and locally crafted furniture. Water conservation meatures include low flow plumbing fixtures, dual-flush toilets, and a visible 2,400 gallon rainwater harvesting system. The site design and rainwater harvesting contribute to the project's goal of achieiving zero stormwater runoff.
Consisting of 16 fully accessible rooms, the Inn incorporates a variety of guest room layouts, each with a private bathroom and direct access to the outside. Common spaces include a generous social room and a library overlooking the lobby. Wrap-around porches connect visitors to an outdoor eating area, bird watching areas, and trails leading through the park.
Energy conservation was a key consideration in the design of all building systems, and the project includes a ground coupled heating and cooling system and solar hot water heating. To encourage awareness of energy use, each guest room has a digital display that indicates the current room energy use.