This Kickstarter seems like a good way for Burners to support our local community. Some of us might take fresh food for granted, but in Gerlach it’s 100 miles to the nearest school. All they want is water to get their garden back. There are 5 days to go and so far there’s been very little help – where’s the Burning Man Project when they’re needed?
Thanks to Burner MLewis for bringing this to our attention. Click here to support the project.
re-blogged from Kickstarter.com:
About this project
Gerlach Community School garden project.
Gerlach, Nevada is a small village situated next to the Black Rock desert (well known because of the Burning Man festival). At the turn of the century the town still inhabited up to 900 people, but when the nearby gypsum plant closed down in 2011 and economy went down in the region and people started to move away and presently the town inhabits 100 people. Eight years ago schoolteacher Elizabeth Jackson and her colleagues started an educational community school garden and greenhouse project in this barren environment. The management of the school acknowledged the importance and adopted the project as fresh vegetables are not widely available in this desert environment. The start of the project was promising and the school garden was so successful that even the town’s elderly benefited from the project as they were served the freshly grown vegetables from the garden during the town’s daily community center senior’s lunch.
Presently the number of children attending the Gerlach school is reduced down to only fourteen in 2014. As the number of kids reduced rapidly, the school board had to take the unfortunate decision to terminate the community garden project as funds were lacking and the water supply was cut off. Now the garden project has been abandoned and people have to travel over 90 miles in order to buy fresh produce at the nearest supermarket.
Why does the Gerlach School community garden need your help? Fresh vegetables are becoming more and more important as part of our daily nutrition, especially for children and senior citizens. Through school gardens children are educated in how their food grows and what is needed to produce and maintain healthy fresh food on a small scale. But the project is not just educational, it’s also fun to see things grow from a tiny seed to something delicious and tasteful. In order to keep children healthy it’s essential to teach them that fresh vegetables are essential in your daily meals.
Role of the Laboratory for Microclimates:
Next to raising funds for the re-development of the school garden the Laboratory for Microclimates wants to explore alternative solutions concerning the collection of dew and rainwater. Nowadays there are different systems to collect dew water, however, the production process is expensive and can be done in a more sustainable way. Our water collection system consists of recycled PET bottles, grouped circle wise around a plant; the ‘Desert Flower’. A simple and gentle way to capture the maximum dew in the night and make it useful for irrigation of plants in dry regions like Black Rock Desert.
Goal: The Laboratory for Microclimates wants to raise enough money to revitalize the project and supply them with enough water to continue the project for the next five years. To increase the sustainability the Laboratory for Microclimates install desert-flower irrigation system to reduce the use of water.
Risks and challenges
The only risk in this project is that we don’t succeed in raising the money to fund the project, in that case people who invested in this project won’t be charged.
As we speak about the financial part, here’s what’s needed:
1: us$ 800 to jump-start the project the garden and greenhouse by having the gardens reconnected to the town’s water system.
2: US$ 100 for a period of 5 years for the payment of the monthly water bill.
3: US$ 800 to install a sustainable desert-flower hydration system by artist Annechien Meier of the Laboratory through which water-use will be reduced.
4: an additional 8% for the Kickstarter organization (5% to host this campaign and 3% for payment and processing fees).
In total this comes down to an amount of US$ 8,208.00
What will happen to your contribution?
1: Both connections to the town’s watersystem and desertflower irrigation system will be installed.
2: Through the Gerlach School a trust/bank account will be opened to facilitate the monthly payment for the water delivery.
3: A Facebook account will be initiated through which you can watch the progress of the project.
The project is initiated by the Laboratory for Microclimates, an art collective from the Netherlands. Through art and film projects they encourage people to change their own social and ecological environment; www.microclimates.nl. One of its members, filmmaker Gert-Jan Gerlach, visited the town of Gerlach this summer and decided that help was needed to revitalize the school’s project.