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Inside this issue:
Alice Ferguson Foundation Continues to Choose Clivus
Clivus at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
GSA Nov. 27, 2019 | Vol. 12, Issue 2

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We've signed a contract with the General Services Administration to sell our M54 Trailhead series at a discounted rate to customers in the federal government. Visit us at to see how easy it is!

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Maintenance Services

Did you know that Clivus can arrange to provide your facility with composting system maintenance services? Clivus offers a variety of maintenance options to meet your needs. No matter where your facility is located, we'll come to you or work with local subcontractors to ensure that the job is done right. Call us at 800-425-4887 for more information.

Greetings from Clivus Multrum!

This season’s Natural Solution News highlights two projects in different parts of the country, fitting the unique needs for each organization. Alice Ferguson Foundation, located in Accokeek, MD, has purchased a number of Clivus systems to meets its needs. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX, recently purchased its first M54 Trailhead.

Alice Ferguson Foundation Continues to Choose Clivus

Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF), located at Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek, MD, has a long history of providing agricultural and environmental education. In 1922, Alice Ferguson and Henry Gardiner Ferguson purchased the property, which was originally a 330-acre plot along the Potomac River across from historic Mount Vernon. According to the Foundation’s website, “Alice produced an impressive array of artworks, designed and built the farmhouse at Hard Bargain Farm, managed the working farm which is still operating today, created a “Country Place Era” style formal garden, and trained herself as an archeologist to explore Native American sites discovered on the farm.” After her death, Henry established the Alice Ferguson Foundation to continue the work started by his wife. In the 1960s the lower section of the farm was deeded to the National Park Service to form part of the Piscataway National Park, which preserves the view of Mount Vernon.

Clivus Multrum Trailhead
Cafritz Environmental Center (CEC)*

Alice Ferguson Foundation's mission is to connect people to the natural world, sustainable agricultural practices, and the cultural heritage of their local watershed through education, stewardship, and advocacy. AFF works toward this mission by providing agricultural and environmental education to approximately ten thousand students each year as well as by leading advocacy efforts, such as the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative, which hosted its 31st annual trash clean up in 2019.

In keeping with their environmental ethic, the Foundation installed their first Clivus system, three M54 Trailhead systems, ten years ago and has continued adding Clivus systems as their building needs have expanded. The first M54 Trailheads provided restroom facilities at the barnyard and amphitheater.

Clivus Multrum Trailhead
The interior of the CEC restroom*

In 2014, AFF commenced building the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Education Center, or Cafritz Environmental Center (CEC), which was built to achieve the stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The CEC incorporated one M3 and one M35 Clivus composting toilet system and opened in October 2015. LBC certification was obtained in June 2017. AFF received full petal certification and the Cafritz Environmental Center demonstrated Net Zero Water, which was achieved primarily by using the Clivus composting toilet systems with waterless toilets.
Clivus Multrum Trailhead
AFF's newest M54W Double Trailhead located near the barnyard*

In 2015, AFF installed two M10 systems with waterless toilets in two cabins designed for overnight student visits. Each cabin houses twenty students and their chaperones.

In the fall of 2019, AFF installed one M54W Double Trailhead system, which was installed at the barnyard. Another M54W Double Trailhead is anticipated for a different location on the farm.

Maintenance is provided three times per year by a long-time Clivus associate located in the area. Unlike most other states, Maryland has an explicit process for applying liquid compost from the composting toilet system. Each “nutrient recycling event” begins by conducting a fecal coliform test, which has always shown zero fecal coliform present. The next step is applying the liquid compost in a location designated by the state permit. Each Clivus system has a designated nutrient recycling area where the liquid compost is applied. According to Karen Miles, facilities director at AFF, “The maintenance services are wonderful. We’ve worked with them for over a decade and it’s seamless.

In addition to the simple maintenance, Miles is pleased with how the Clivus systems both demonstrate Alice Ferguson Foundation’s mission and also provide another avenue for education. According to Miles, AFF incorporates the lessons about water conservation, pollution prevention and nutrient recycling into the educational and agricultural curriculum and “the systems keep blackwater from polluting the watershed, which is so important in this area.”

*Images used with the permission of The Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Clivus Provides Facilities in Ecologically Sensitive Area at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

M54 Double Trailhead at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center**

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was founded in 1982 by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and actor Helen Hayes. Originally 60 acres, over time the Center became part of the University of Texas at Austin and, after relocating, grew to its current 284-acre site. The Center's mission is "Inspiring the conservation of native plants."

The Center was designated as the Botanic Garden of Texas in 2017 and displays native plants throughout its cultivated gardens, natural areas and plots dedicated to long-term research on fire and land management. Over 200,000 guests visit the Center each year while it continues its work to conserve native plants, provide education and outreach, as well as conduct research and ecological design.

Interior of M54 Double Trailhead at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center**

In 2012, the Center opened the Texas Arboretum, a 16-acre arboretum featuring a diversity of Texas trees as well as meadows of native grasses and wildflowers. The Arboretum trail, a 1.3-mile loop, passes through a picnic area complete with swings for both adults and children, the Texas Oak Collection and the Hall of Texas Heroes, a collection of live oaks planted from acorns from famous Texas trees. The Hall of Texas Heroes opened in 2015 with twenty-eight live oak saplings planted in two concentric circles, a living museum with each tree telling the unique story of its ancestor.

Prior to the installation of an M54W Double Trailhead composting toilet system in 2017, the Arboretum trail offered no restroom facilities. Mike Abkowitz, Director of Finance and Operations, began looking into the feasibility of the addition of the M54W Double Trailhead after receiving a recommendation for the Clivus system as a possible restroom solution.

According to Abkowitz, the Clivus system was not only less expensive than extending the sewer, but also much less disruptive to the ecologically sensitive area. The Center installed the M54W Double Trailhead with Foam-flush toilets, which use 3 oz. of water per flush and are powered by a custom designed solar system. A fan also powered by the solar system moves air over the compost and, by providing negative air pressure, ensures there is no odor in the restroom.

After being in operation for over a year, Abkowitz indicates that the restroom is “well used, people love it and they’ve come to depend on it, especially during our Fortlandia exhibition, which has 1,500-1,800 visitors each day.”

**Images used with the permission of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.



Contact Clivus Multrum to see if a Clivus composting toilet system is right for your next project.