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Building a Solar Restoration Greenhouse

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Published on Jan 25, 2007

Save The Dunes Conservation Fund, together with diverse partners, constructed a solar greenhouse between April 22 and July 13th of 2006. The greenhouse will improve local capacity for restoration work and served as training to educate land managers and others on the conservation benefits of this type of greenhouse. The greenhouse project was funded in part by a 5-Star Restoration Challenge Grant.

To begin, the greenhouse area was cleared of any trees that may have presented a problem in a windstorm. Small tree stumps were dug out and the area was cleared of vegetation before the ground was prepared for construction. Concrete was ordered for the foundation after applying and receiving a city building permit. Invasive black locust trees, used for support beams, were peeled and coated with polyurethane. Construction materials included locally grown straw bales and local clay for the adobe insulation.

Two weekend workshops were held, which attracted many local citizens and a non-local group from the Americorps NCCC. The participants learned how to construct a solar greenhouse and will have this knowledge for future endeavors. The workshops were training events for the Indiana Coastal Restoration Action Team project which was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program.

Save the Dunes Conservation Fund and Save the Dunes Council were honored by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for completion of this 5-Star Restoration Challenge Grant project. A bronze plaque was presented for installation in the greenhouse.

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