The Glenstone Museum opened an Environmental Center to improve its sustainable practices. Credit: Via Glenstone Museum

The Glenstone Museum has opened an Environmental Center designed to enhance sustainable practices on the Potomac property while teaching visitors about efforts such as composting, recycling and reforestation.

The 7,200-square-foot center, with a “self-guided experience,” includes hands-on presentations and exhibits applying sustainable practices to homes and businesses, according to the museum.

The center will be open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

“At Glenstone, we have committed ourselves to protect and nurture the landscape just as we care for our buildings and works of art,” Emily Rales, museum co-founder and director, said in a statement. “We feel that everyone has an interest in environmental stewardship. Everyone can play a role.”

The modern and contemporary art museum opened in 2006 and is on a 300-acre campus at 12100 Glen Road. Admission is free, though advanced reservations are typically required for entry.

Glenstone’s sustainable efforts include planting more than 8,000 trees since 2013, restoring more than 9,200 feet of stream bed on the property and recycling more than 80% of office waste and food scraps, according to the museum.

County Executive Marc Elrich presented the museum with its Montgomery County Green Business recertification at a ceremony earlier this spring. The program is a voluntary initiative encouraging organizations to reduce their ecological footprint, meshing well with the museum’s focus on arts and architecture in an outdoor setting.

“The real power of Glenstone is from a sustainability perspective,” Elrich said in a statement. “Glenstone is a combination of appreciating art—and doing it in a way that makes us think far beyond the walls of the buildings. We need artists to be able to courageously challenge our thoughts and values.”

The museum also announced it will continue to offer guaranteed entry to visitors using the county’s Ride On bus service, after a successful trial run in January. The promotion is another means of reducing the museum’s carbon footprint.

Charlie Wright can be reached at charlie.wright@bethesdamagazine.com