Greenhouse High Tunnel
Our proposal is to provide needed support to UCCS’ greenhouse through construction of two high tunnels. At the most basic level, funding this expansion will ensure increased production of healthy, organic food year round for consumption by students, faculty, and staff at campus eateries. To elaborate, year round covering through high tunnel infrastructure will help optimize cultivation due to “1) a decrease in both stress and possible photosynthesis shutdown from wind, 2) prevention of bud desiccation, 3) adding 3-4 weeks of frost-free growing onto each end of the season increasing growing time, and 4) additional winter protection” (Cornell University Department of Agriculture). Implementation of high tunnels will also augment overall sustainability since no heating or automated electrical systems will be needed. However, since our proposed budget compiled by Greenhouse and Garden Manager, Kelley Jennings, is intentionally high in estimation, we may have remaining funding. In this case, we propose installation of two blower fans powered by mini-solar panels. These small fans would function to expel excess heat which would regulate temperature more efficiently. Besides these components, the two high tunnels will not require any fossil fuel energy sources. This will bolster UCCS’ 2012-2020 target to increase “Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Small-Scale Renewables [that will translate to] a 20% reduction in GHG emissions” (UCCS Climate Action Plan).