The 365 Greenhouse project is an example of the solutions we need to create a better world, including meeting global climate targets while building stronger economies and strengthening communities. The greenhouse, located at the headquarters of the Autism Society of Newfoundland & Labrador (ASNL) in St. John’s, will operate year-round by utilizing solar photovoltaic modules and an electric heat pump to generate the heat and light required to grow food during the winter months. Under net metering, this greenhouse will provide revenue generation, flowers and produce for the Autism Society's social enterprise initiatives Good Roots gardening and the Pantry Cafe.
Daily operation of the greenhouse will be managed by ASNL, giving them the opportunity to employ 2-3 additional people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as is their mandate. This directly aligns with Iron & Earth’s pillars of building strong community partnerships while implementing climate solutions in Canada.
The 365 Greenhouse Project will deliver multiple additional benefits that include renewable energy training for underemployed workers, building a sustainable source of income for a local community service provider and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions! The 365 Greenhouse model can be replicated to bring significant benefits to workers, communities, and industry nationally and even internationally.
The greenhouse construction has now been completed and we are in the final stage of this project, including installing the solar panels that will help to power the greenhouse, installing the water storage systems, building the garden beds and celebrating our success! The solar panel installation will be completed by trainees from our Solar Skills training initiatives, who have installed 3kW of solar modules on the adjacent building to-date and will be installing a final 7kW on the perimeter of the greenhouse roof. These installations will be a voluntary contribution from our trainees who have benefited from and believe in the vision of the project.
Volunteers will also help to install the water storage infrastructure and garden beds once funds are secured to purchase these materials. Once these installations are complete, the partners on this project will host a ribbon-cutting celebration and media day.
This project has been developed through truly impressive volunteer efforts of our passionate members and the dedicated team at the ASNL. We have raised approximately $275,000 of our $305,000 budget from mainly government and industry partners mentioned below. We are now looking for final sponsors for the remaining solar, water storage and garden bed infrastructure as well as communication costs.
We will be proudly promoting our various partnerships and contributions from various stakeholders through social media and at our ribbon-cutting event (date TBA pending final funding) which will include a press conference, work party and community meal. In addition, larger sponsors will be recognized on signage at the greenhouse and have the opportunity to engage volunteers. Donations will be going towards the materials detailed below and donations of materials and equipment are equally valuable.
Wanda Spooner, Fund Development Advisor at [email protected] or 403-991-4866
Lliam Hildebrand, Executive Director at [email protected] or 778-771-0852