TRAVERSE CITY: SEEDS and the Recreational Authority partner to launch the Energy Farm at the Historic Barns Park with the installation of the first two energy exhibits. A ribbon cutting is planned for 4:30 p.m. on May 17, at the 2.5-kilowatt solar PV array on the trail just below the Cathedral Barn and just before the Chamber’s After Hours at the Botanic Gardens. A free tour will follow.
SEEDS will debut two hands-on and informative exhibits that will help visitors to the park understand the role geothermal and solar energy play in powering the operations of the park and decreasing its carbon footprint.
Ed Bailey, NMC’s Technical Division Director says, “NMC is thrilled to partner with SEEDS in their support to teach Historic Barns Park visitors about a wide range of energy technologies and empower them to see how they interact with energy everyday and everywhere.”
Historic Barns Park (HBP) is establishing itself as a regional farm and garden destination, wedding and event hosting venue, community space, recreational park, and now an energy demonstration site. The HBP Business Plan formally addresses the concept of an “Energy Farm” and SEEDS is helping lead the way. SEEDS engages visitors in energy conservation, efficiency and generation practices and showcases smart energy management and technologies, both for the educational benefit and as a draw for additional Park visitors.
SEEDS also operates the Farm at Historic Barns Park, providing real-world training and hands-on lessons in organic growing and carbon-conscious farming to local young adults. This year’s farming efforts are led by farmer-in-residence, Brenin Wertz-Roth. The farm crew includes graduates of the TBAISD Career Tech Center’s Agricultural Science program who will also assist with the Sara Hardy Farmers Market.
“It is heartwarming to see this valuable park blossom in so many different educational and inspiring ways. None of this would be possible without numerous partners and supporters, including the citizens of Traverse City and Garfield Township who voted to establish the Park,” says Sarna Salzman, Executive Director of SEEDS.
Supporting the energy exhibits are: Consumers Energy Foundation, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Northwestern Michigan College, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
SEEDS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to implement local solutions to today’s global issues at the intersection of ecology, education and community design. SEEDS networks fantastic educators and students of all ages, enabling them to practice skills ordinary to a resilient society, yet too often under-practiced.
—Press Release Provided by SEEDS