Heifer International is helping eradicate poverty and hunger throughout the world from right here in Little Rock. They are the “give a gift and pass it on” organization. Heifer distributes animals and teaches communities how to farm, with the promise that the family will “pass on the gift.” Families typically share offspring of the animals and the agricultural knowledge with others in the community. As an organization striving to fight global hunger through sustainability programs, they practice what they preach at their international headquarters in downtown Little Rock.
Heifer International has one of the greenest buildings in the nation located in Little Rock. Heifer International Headquarters was specifically designed to be “green.” From the land to the building materials, everything was designed with environmentally responsible methods and materials in mind.
The site chosen for the building was an abandoned railroad yard in a warehouse district. It needed cleaning up. So, Heifer took the challenge and removed 75,000 tons of “dirty” earth, lots of scrap and some dilapidated buildings. They used the masonry from some of the buildings for the new construction, so it was green even before it was built.
All of the materials used in the building were sourced within 500 miles of Little Rock, with the exception of the bamboo flooring. Bamboo is sturdy, durable and fast growing so it’s a sustainable flooring option. It’s not actually a “hardwood,” but a grass.
What makes it green:
Heifer’s headquarters use 52 percent less energy than a conventional office building of similar size and use. How do they do it? The environment was considered in every step in building planning.
Heifer uses what is called “gray water.” Gray water is rainwater that is captured to supply non-consumable water. Irrigation water is collected from a restored wetland around three sides of the building. To cool the building, rainwater is collected from the roof and gray water from sinks and fountains. This water is also used in toilets, that is the ones that aren’t water-less. Many of the urinals are water-less toilets.
The exterior of the building is virtually all glass. This isn’t just for looks. This exterior allows Heifer employees to work in natural light whenever possible. The building has light sensors which adjust for overcast days and night.
They were LEED certified in 2007 and meet many of their high environmental standards. You can read the entire report, which details some of Heifer’s green achievements.
Where / Contact:
You can take a tour and learn everything you could ever want to know about the green building, Heifer’s mission and more. Heifer is a great organization and they do some wonderful things for the world from
Tours are offered Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours take about 30 minutes.
No reservation is required, but for groups larger than 15 please call two weeks in advance. Tours are designed for adults and families only. School groups, preschool through high school cannot be accommodated at this time.
For more information please call 501-907-2600.
Heifer has a ranch in Perryville, Arkansas (about 40 minutes outside of Little Rock) that is open to tours for drop-in visitors (10 or less) Monday-Saturday from 8-5 pm Central time. This ranch is lots of fun for kids because they get to learn about Heifer’s mission and meet some of the animals including water buffalo, goats, chickens and camels. For info on the ranch, call 501-889-5124. Google Map to the ranch
Heifer Village is an interactive global education facility. It’s also, in traditional Heifer fashion, an environmentally sensitive facility. Locals and visitors can go there to learn more about Heifer’s mission throughout the world. It’s a great place for kids, and adults, to learn about poverty around the world in an interactive manner. It’s a heavy subject for kids, but it’s also an inspiring place because Heifer will also show you how to help and what they’re doing to help. It’s a great place to teach kids that they can make a difference with small things. Heifer’s whole mission is that small things, like a cow, can make a big impact on global poverty This is an inspiring message to give kids. Read more.