Project YES at Lac qui Parle Valley involves a composting and solar power project. We are also promoting ways to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing electrical consumption by publishing a brochure on what we are about.
Our students would like to compost trash from our school lunch program. We intend to compost that trash and use it to grow items in our school greenhouse that students would eat in our “Ala Carte” line. We are currently thinking of making a salsa to put in our Ala Carte line.
We also want to purchase small composting kits and introduce our 5th and 6th grade students to composting.
The goal for this first year is to get the compost project up and running. We also want to get the 5th and 6th grade students busy composting in their own classrooms.
The second phase of our project is to install as many solar panels as we can afford to offset the electricity used by the grow lights in our indoor greenhouse. Our hope is to start to offset the amount of electricity needed to grow the tomatoes and peppers for the salsa we will make that is talked about in project #1.
We have secured grants from the following organizations:
$10,000 grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Educators Leadership Council (MAELC)
$1000 from the Project YES and Southwest MN Initiative Fund.
$500 from MN Schools Cutting Carbon Program
$250 from Martinson Foundation.
Our school currently operates a wind generator that provides about 1/3 of the electricity needed for our building. We can easily tie into that wind generator and provide current to the school and the grid.
The goal with the solar power project is to see how much money the composting project takes, and then spend the rest on solar panels. We hope to get the panels installed next summer.