|Many nurseries, like Sester Farms in Gresham, Ore., host collection
ponds for water as it flows from irrigated nursery stock. Natural
plant material around the pond filters the water and provides habitat
for wildlife. Photo by Joseph Kroetsch.
Through the Climate Friendly Nurseries project, Oregon nurseries can quantify their energy and resource use and greenhouse gas emissions, and identify specific ways to reduce them. The project team will help participating nurseries secure grants, low interest loans and tax credits for energy and resource efficiency upgrades, and provide technical assistance for the upgrades. Ecos Consulting and Oregon State University will serve as resources for the Climate Friendly Nurseries project. The project starts in August 2009 and will run through 2012.
During the press conference U.S. Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon) encouraged partners to seek grant funds that may become available through the economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year. “I think it’s going to be an outstanding partnership, emblematic of how Oregon solves problems,” Schrader said.
Participants will collect and enter data into an online tool created for this project by Ecos Consulting. The tool inventories energy, fuel, fertilizer and use of other resources, and measures that use and related GHG emissions. These measurements will allow the project team to identify cost-effective opportunities to become more energy efficient and to reduce the use of other resources. Inventories will be conducted after participating nurseries have taken steps to become more efficient. This will enable the team to identify the most effective best management practices to reduce GHG emissions, and those that provide the most cost savings to nurseries. Lessons learned from the Climate Friendly Nurseries project will be shared with other nurseries. This project builds on the experience of the Oregon Environmental Council and Ecos consulting in leading the Carbon Neutral Challenge for Oregon wineries with the Oregon Wine Board.
"It’s exciting to join the Oregon Association of Nurseries is taking real steps toward creating a more efficient, sustainable industry," said Allison Hensey, program director for healthy food and farms at the Oregon Environmental Council. "Oregon’s nurseries are demonstrating leadership in their field and as early adopters, are getting ahead of the curve to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions in a carbon-constrained future. We look forward to other industries following their lead."
Six nurseries have already committed to the project. These nurseries will receive help in collecting energy use and GHG emissions data, and individualized assessments of their energy and resource use and related GHG emissions. Based on these assessments, participating nurseries will obtain customized recommendations on how to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions, and an analysis of the economic payoff for implementing these energy saving and efficiency measures. The participating nurseries include:
- J Frank Schmidt & Son, Boring, OR, www.jfschmidt.com
- Northwoods Nursery, Molalla, OR www.northwoodsnursery.com
- Heritage Seedlings, Salem, OR, www.heritageseedlings.com
- Bailey Nurseries Inc., St. Paul, MN, www.baileynursery.com
- Evans Farms, Oregon City, OR, www.evansfarms.net
- Monrovia, Dayton, OR , www.monrovia.com
Together, these nurseries represent 7,700 acres in nursery production, or 14 percent of Oregon’s nursery industry.