Panels to be installed at new Edible Garden
CLERMONT, Ky. (April 22, 2014) — Bernheim celebrated Earth Day 2014 with the arrival of 16 new solar panels. The panels will be installed on the top of the education sheds at Bernheim’s Edible Garden.
Set to open on May 17 in conjunction with BloomFest, the Edible Garden is designed to the most rigorous green design standards set forth by the Living Building Challenge (LBC) (living-future.org/lbc).
Bernheim is aiming to have the Edible Garden be the first fully certified LBC project in Kentucky and the new solar panels help to achieve the design imperatives that Bernheim has to meet for certification.
“Our Visitors Center was the first LEED Platinum certified building in the state, and with the Edible Garden we wanted to be a leader in green design again,” said Mark Wourms, Bernheim’s executive director.
Wourms noted that the LBC criteria go beyond traditional sustainable design and incorporate what are called regenerative design principles. Regenerative design looks at how design can make nature better and healthier.
The 240-watt panels are manufactured by SunPower Corp., a California-based company.
A grant from the UPS foundation is funding the purchase and installation of the panels.
The inspiration for the Edible Garden came nearly three years ago when the leadership team was exploring new ways for Bernheim to help people foster deep connections with nature. “We kept coming back to food,” said Wourms. “Food is universal. Using food and gardening is an ideal way to connect us with nature.”
Wourms explained that the Edible Garden will do more than just serve as a place to teach people about food gardening. He calls it a living outdoor classroom where people of all ages can explore the role of math, science, and art in nature through food.
Design of the Edible Garden began in 2012 and construction for phase 1 has been underway for a year. Bernheim invites everyone to BloomFest and the grand opening of the Edible Garden on Saturday, May 17. Bloomfest and the annual Spring Plant Sale run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Edible Garden ribbon cutting is scheduled for at 10:30 a.m.