The GGP was recently featured in the most recent issue (Winter/Spring 2016) of the Pagosa Springs Dining Guide. Below is the article taken with permissoion from the Dining Guide. ©
Growing Food and Community with Local Energy
By Cory Warden
The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) broke ground in August along the bank of the San Juan River. The realized GGP Park will include three geothermally heated greenhouses. Each of the growing spaces will serve a different purpose: education, innovation, and community. Situated between the pedestrian bridges along the Town Riverwalk, the site amenities will also include amphitheater seating walls, edible gardens, and a central plaza.
The mission of the GGP, a non-profit organization, is to educate the community in sustainable agricultural practices by producing food year-round using local renewable energy. The GGP Park will serve as a center for K-12 Science education as well as for advanced study in agriculture and renewable technology. The innovation greenhouse will be a test site for growing crops at high altitude using the geothermal resource. Affordable produce will be locally grown for users year-round in the community greenhouse.
The site infrastructure, one greenhouse foundation, amphitheater walls, and River Walk are slated to be completed by the new year. Funding for this phase of work was secured over the last several years by grants and generous donations. A $25,000 grant from the Laura Jane Musser Foundation kicked off the project engineering. The GGP and the Town of Pagosa Springs were awarded a $275,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs. A $75,000 grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board was specifically awarded for the potable, irrigation and geothermal water infrastructure. Support from PAWSD and LPEA have made possible water and electric installations. The imported fill for the site was generously donated by Ross Aragon, with transportation donated by Archuleta County. The engineering and architectural work of Davis Engineering and Courtney King, respectively, much of it offered as in-kind, continues to be integral to project progress.
The Town of Pagosa Springs allocated land in Centennial Park and geothermal water rights to the GGP. Adjacent to the San Juan River and near the Town’s municipal geothermal building, this location is ideal for the GGP Park. Each greenhouse will be supplied with raw geothermal water to supplement solar heat. The utilization of this local renewable energy will serve our community, as well as serve as a model for other communities.
Since its inception in 2009, the GGP has been developing relationships with local, state and national public and private entities. Board Members continue to spread the GGP mission in order to build fiscal stability and realize the non-profit’s goal. Partnering with local schools, churches, gardeners, and other special interest groups is vital to the educational and community aspects of the project. Through their involvement with GGP programs, community and food will have the opportunity to be grown year-round with local geothermal energy.
Fundraising for the capital project is ongoing. Construction of the first greenhouse (the education greenhouse) is planned for spring 2016, and the remaining greenhouses will be built as fundraising goals are met. For more information please visit our website: pagosagreen.org, or our facebook page: Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership.