In the fall of 2013 Alpine Initiatives teamed up with Snowmass, Colorado based Aspen T.R.E.E. to help build the area's first four season community education greenhouse. When we were presented the opportunity to help build a community greenhouse just outside of Aspen/Snowmass, we jumped at the chance to work with Aspen T.R.E.E., a non-profit dedicated to educating youth and adults about maintaining a sustainable food-shed in a high mountain setting.
Prior to the construction of this greenhouse, Aspen T.R.E.E. only had a few short months a year to grow food in its instructional gardens, which understandbly presented a major challenge for the organization. In order to run its programming the seven months a year when its gardens are frozen, it required, but lacked, a unique solution like a greenhouse capable of maintaining tropical temperatures throughout all four seasons. Along with other various local organizations, AI decided to lend a hand by providing a small bit of financial backing and lot of volunteer help.
After over a year and a half of design, planning and zoning difficulties created by the innovative nature of the project, volunteers from all over the Roaring Fork Valley came together to help erect the 42-foot-diameter geodesic greenhouse. By the time it was all said and done, this exceptional organization was one step closer to realizing its dream of year-round organic food-shed education.