Parks Greenhouse Uses Innovative Idea for Heat

Parks Greenhouse

The Parks & Recreation Department is experimenting with heating one of the greenhouses using compost. This project will generate heat for the greenhouse by combining chicken manure and wood chips. It is anticipated that the temperature in the center of the pile will reach as high as 160 degrees. By capturing this heat, staff is able to heat one of the Department’s greenhouses which are used for propagation and to overwinter bedding plants. Heating with the compost allows Parks & Recreation to start planting earlier in the season and allows significant savings by growing flowers from seed rather than purchasing from a nursery. This will also save on utility costs and the compost will be reused throughout the parks system to amend soils in the spring.

This project complements other sustainable initiatives of the City. Notable efforts include:

  • Continued investment in community solar farms and energy-efficient facilities. This includes the installation of LED lights, high-efficiency electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems, which are designed to have small environmental footprints in 14 City facilities.
  • Expansion of the Persigo Methane to Compressed Natural Gas Project. Over 100,000 gallons of biofuel produced and transported via pipeline from the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant to the City fleet fueling facility is expected to be consumed by City and Grand Valley Transit (GVT) vehicles in 2020. There are currently 72 CNG vehicles that use the biogas produced by Persigo.
  • Continued water conservation efforts. In the City’s parks, irrigation is being transitioned from manual operation to fully computerized control valves, which will measure daily precipitation and adjust irrigation accordingly. The City is also transitioning many greenspace areas from turf to native landscaping.

A full list of the City’s conservation efforts can be found here:

Contact:  Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager   970-244-1557 or

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