Less than a year ago, the Oregon Association of Nurseries announced an ambitious goal to reduce industry energy usage by 25 percent in 10 years as part of its Energy Pilot program (PDF). Last week, the program scored a major victory when USDA Rural Development awarded the OAN an $80,000 grant (see press release):
Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) will receive $80,000 through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to increase the competitiveness of nursery operations across the region. The RBEG grant, along with $126,000 in OAN monies, will fund Project Green Sleeves, a pilot effort to conduct energy audits and plan efficiency measures with an initial 25 nurseries that commit to a 25-percent reduction in energy use over 10 years. OAN will then develop, evaluate and share effective energy strategies that save money and create jobs with nurseries across the region.
Reducing energy usage is just one of several programs the OAN is pursuing to make nursery stock — already a green product that filters the air through its leaves and branches, and runoff with its roots — even more climate friendly.