The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

First Climate Friendly Nurseries project launched in Oregon

August 30, 2009

Partnership between Oregon Environmental Council and Oregon Association of Nurseries creates sustainable model for Oregon agriculture
Oregon Association of Nurseries,

PORTLAND, Ore.—August 20, 2009—The Oregon Association of Nurseries and the Oregon Environmental Council today announced the launch of a unique sustainability project for Oregon’s largest agricultural commodity – the ornamental horticulture industry. The Climate Friendly Nurseries project is an innovative partnership that will help nurseries use energy and other resources more efficiently, reduce costs, and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while achieving greater economic efficiency and profitability.

“By the end of this project, we’ll know what types of things our growers are already doing that constitute sustainable practices and what sorts of things we can do to improve our current practices,” said John Aguirre, Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries.

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. Additional information is available at www.climatefriendlynurseries.org.

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 participating in 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

About the Oregon Association of Nurseries
The Oregon Association of Nurseries, based in Wilsonville, represents more than 1,300 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Oregon’s ornamental horticulture industry is the state’s largest agricultural commodity, with annual sales of nearly $1 billion. For information visit www.oan.org or call 503-682-5089.

About the Oregon Environmental Council –
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For 40 years we’ve been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxics, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at www.oecoline.org.

  
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