Game-Changing Step Forward for CEED and the Washington Lodge

Nature Center

Though CEED has been using the Washington Lodge as our home and office space for several years, we have not been allowed to offer programs or hold public meetings in the building because it did not have a modern fire safety alarm system.  The Washington Lodge is nearly 8,000 sq. ft. and has more than 30 rooms, so installing a fire detection and alarm system was a major expense for such a new organization.   

The big news is that we have now accomplished that significant task, and this month, the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshall approved the Lodge for public use!  This is a huge step forward for CEED, and greatly expands the possibilities for programming and community involvement.

Thank you to those who donated to make this possible, especially CEED Board member Lisa Anderson; to VMS Security, which installed the system; to volunteers like Linda Cortese, who offered her expertise in helping to choose an alarm system vendor; and to the Brookhaven Fire Marshal’s office for their guidance.

We’re currently focused on renovating what we call the Great Hall West, one of the two large first floor rooms, and hope to have that work done in the coming weeks.  We still need funds and volunteer labor to complete that work.  And we also need funding for furniture and other equipment to make the room usable as a classroom, meeting room, and presentation space.  If you can play a role, please go to or email

Also, this is only the beginning of the process to restore the Washington Lodge.  At present, we’re only able to open the first floor to the public, because using the upper two stories would require additional renovation and installation of a sprinkler system.  Completely restoring the entire building is a multi-million dollar project. We’re working to find funding for that, and are always open to ideas.  Please email Executive Director Sally Wellinger or me if you have suggestions.

And please join us in celebrating this major achievement in the history of CEED and the Washington Lodge.  Stay tuned for information on events that make use of our new capabilities!

Tom Pelletier, Board Chair, CEED

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