By Jerry Brown
One of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s (CRES) major focuses this year will be a new Sustainability Park that’s beginning to take shape on a site east of Coors Field in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood.
CRES received 27 responses to a request last month for letters of interest from organizations that would like to participate in the project, a collaborative effort by CRES and Denver Housing Authority. CRES will also be reaching out to companies with technologies it’s interested in exploring to encourage them to participate, said CRES President Tony Frank.
The letters of interest will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of representatives from the Housing Authority, NREL, the neighborhood surrounding the park and renewable and green-building experts from various organizations, Frank said.
The Sustainability Park will showcase, evaluate and promote “earth friendly technologies and strategies” for renewable energy, efficient resource use, sustainable design, urban agriculture and transportation. It’s located at 2500 Lawrence Street on a 2.7-acre site encompassing a full city block owned by the Denver Housing Authority.
CRES plans to host a “volunteer day” at the park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 22 to provide CRES volunteers a tour of the site and begin cleaning it up. The plan is for the site to be fully developed in time for the World Renewable Energy Forum, to be held in Denver in May. People attending the forum will be offered tours of the Sustainability Park.
Although most of the park is still empty, the Urban Farmers Collaborative – three separate micro-farming enterprises – produced crops at the site during last year’s growing season and will continue to operate there.
There’s also a year-round, high-altitude greenhouse operated by Feed Denver, Turn-key Aquaponics and Colorado Aqua Farms that produces plants and fish, with the waste from the fish providing nutrients to fertilize the plants.
And 11 solar panels, each using different technology, have been installed to provide electricity for the site and serve as a testing ground for various solar technologies, said DJ Cardi, project manager for the park.