Monthly Archives

November 2017

EarthLab Education Corner: October

By | Farm


October was an amazing month, filled with a variety of stimulating, interactive activities for our Lincoln Cluster students.

Webster, Chollas-Meade and Johnson elementary schools participated in our Elementary Science Star program. Topics included Astronomy, Geology and Hydrology.

MTM 6th grade science students are currently participating in our new Water Quality & Conservation program. Other MTM 6th grade historians learned how to make Stone Age tools and shelters. EarthLab was proud to host an incredible community service day with 100 Navy personnel and 120 MTM students for Fleet Week. We planted a brand new 40 tree orchard. It is gorgeous!

One of our finest accomplishments is the implementation of our new Saturday EarthLab Club: Science & Service. The community is welcome to join us each Saturday from 9:30-11:30am to learn experimental, exploratory science which is interactive, educational and stimulating.

We are also proud to announce a new partnership with Malcolm X library, which provides a monthly literacy activity for preschoolers outside at the EarthLab. The first Tuesday of each month, 10-11am, families are invited to bring their little ones to the EarthLab for Sunshine Story Time. Activities will include a story and interactive arts & crafts surrounding nature topics.

There is always so much to learn at the EarthLab and we appreciate all of the support and collaboration the community shows us. We look forward to another busy month ahead of us.

It Takes a Village

By | Project Updates


Our Commercial Outreach Team Member, Robert Carr, shares with us the goal of bringing commercial establishments on board with the Net Zero Energy plan for the EcoVillage. Interspersed among the words are photos of our neighbors

To borrow from the proverb that “it takes a village…”, in this case it literally will take everyone in our Chollas Creek Ecovillage to create a Net Zero Energy (ZNE) community.  This will require residents and commercial businesses alike to create and adopt a lasting culture of climate action needed implement our goals.  Groundwork San Diego has already started engaging community residents helping them implement sustainable energy and water strategies.  Now the time has come to engage our commercial businesses, so that they can participate in our Ecovillage.

Commercial businesses within the Chollas Creek Ecovillage are important stakeholders due to the fact that they use approximately 41% of the electricity delivered to our area.  Without significant participation from these commercial businesses, our ZNE goal will be not be possible.  To that end, we at Groundwork have launched a campaign to educate and collaborate with commercial entities to promote implementing energy efficiency upgrades, driving electric vehicles, and switching to renewable energy sources.

Solar Canopies for commercial businesses create shade and generate clean renewable energy

To make our ZNE community a reality, a key step is to make sure our commercial building stock is as energy efficient as possible and being powered by renewable energy sources.  Many of these buildings were built years ago, and as a result are not as energy efficient as they can be.  Working with our partners, we hope to show Chollas Creek businesses ways to retrofit their buildings without impacting their bottom line.  Actually, our goal is to energize their bottom line since being energy efficient and using renewable energy will save these businesses money.   Imagine an Ecovillage where the free rooftop spaces of our supermarkets, doctor offices, and industrial buildings are covered with solar panels, providing clean renewable energy to energy efficient buildings and fleets of electric vehicles.

Stormwater capture bioswales are easily integrated into solar canopy designs

Thankfully there are many local and State incentives that can assist with the financial demands of these critical retrofits.  Groundwork’s commercial outreach includes educating commercial businesses what these financial incentives are and how they can take advantage of them.  We will be there every step of the way assisting our commercial stakeholders through this process.  However, we are not limiting our outreach to just energy. Storm water capture, potable water use and conservation will also be an integral piece of our message.  It is critical that the water-energy nexus be understood if our community is truly to become an Ecovillage.  There is lots of work to be done, but we are confident our village is up to the task.

Neighbors Joining Neighbors: Walking Tour, October 21st

By | Project Updates


What a wonderful time we had when Neighbors joined Neighbors at the home of Stacy Sibownhewang for a presentation on the Chollas Eco Village Home Makeover Project.  All neighbors in attendance signed up to receive a home makeover, received a t-shirt and enjoyed the refreshments.

About a week before, we had another Waking Tour Celebration around the block. Our Neighbors Joining Neighbors Walking Tour Celebration took us from 752 Escuela Street to 5002 Lakiba Palmer.

We were excited to have Monica Montgomery, Community Leader, join us as we toured the completed homes and met residents along the way.

One of the highlights was seeing the 865 gallon rain barrel installed on Hilltop and Duval.

We were also joined by a resident who wanted to see examples of yards after being transformed with drought tolerate plants, trees and landscapes.  

Residents who had received the home makeover welcomed us into their yard, and shared their enthusiasm about the home and landscape upgrades they have received.

Our celebration walk ended at 5002 Lakiba Palmer – with laughter, some refreshments, and community fellowship.

Photographs were taken (and generously donated) by the owner of the 865 rain barrel, Mr. Charles Gay (pictured above).