$ -

0% of $150,000 goal

Sustainability Improvements at Rio Grande Community Farm

Sustainability is one of Rio Grande Community Farm's core values and transitioning to solar energy has long been a goal of the organization.We are thrilled that the City of Albuquerque is supportive of our request for a full solar conversion, along with other environmental and functional improvements to our barnyard and well house area on Los Poblanos Open Space. Since the barn was not built to hold the weight of the panels, we are proposing two structures be erected in the barnyard that will be engineered to handle this weight while serving important farm functions. We are also proposing two small outbuildings that each house an incinerating toilet.

In addition to the City's support for these proposals, we need to demonstrate public support, secure the permits, and raise the funds - estimated at $150,000 over the next 18 months.

Proposal 1: Solar Workshop
It is becoming increasingly necessary to utilize the existing barn as a meeting and educational space, yet the heat, dust, and noise from power tools is now competing with our educational priorities. In addition, the existing barn's wooden construction makes it unsafe to use for welding. A metal workshop where power tool use and welding can safely occur in any weather and safely away from students and volunteers is an absolute necessity for any working farm.

Fig. 1. Example of proposed solar workshop (18' x 30 ' x 12')

Proposal 2: Solar Storage Structure
The Farm needs a three-sided structure that can adequately shelter the hay soon to be harvested from the 20 additional acres the City has recently entrusted us to manage. This proposed arrangement will ensure the quality of the hay while keeping the barnyard safer and tidier. Instead of piles of hay covered with blowing tarps scattered throughout the area, the baled forage will be stacked in one place and protected from the elements.


Fig. 2. Example of proposed solar storage structure (57' x 27' x12')

Proposal 3: Outbuildings
Both customer service and sustainability on the Farm can improve drastically with the construction of two small outbuildings that will contain incinerating toilets, replacing the expensive and ecologically damaging chemical toilets the City has been renting at the cost of over $40,000 a year. These incinerating toilets use no water and produce no odors, leaving a completely sterile tray of ashes instead of 100 gallons of biocide infused sewage to treat and dispose of each week. One outbuilding will be located in the barnyard and one will be located next to the well house in Field 4.

Fig. 3. Example of proposed outbuilding (10' x 10' x 8.5')

Environmental Impact
These infrastructure improvements are long overdue and will revolutionize educational opportunities, customer comfort, and maintenance work in addition to reducing the Farm’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2,812 metric tons over the next 25 years.

Your Feedback on Proposed Improvements Requested
We would love to hear your thoughts on these proposals, and encourage you to respond to our survey.

Please take the survey HERE.


Organized by Rio Grande Community Farm
501(c)(3) Public Charity · EIN 74-2833329
[email protected]