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$5,569 pledged of $45,000 goal
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By Alex Chernomazov
$5,569 pledged of $45,000 goal
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About this project

We are building America's first interactive Sustainability Park, a unique place to experience Renewable energy, Green Building and Sustainable Transportation exhibits, all set in a park-like setting in bucolic Waterbury, Vermont. 

Our mission is to inspire local and global communities to adapt current green technologies through interactive hands-on experiences.

By the opening day GreenSpark will have three exhibit categories:

Welcome Center (rendering)  

Welcome Center
Welcome Center

Sustainable Garage (rendering) 

Transportation Exhibit
Transportation Exhibit

 

Here are a few of the exhibits that we are planning to feature in the Sustainable Garage.

Left to right: electric Citi-car, compressed air car AirPod, sail driven Whike, solar ELF trike
Left to right: electric Citi-car, compressed air car AirPod, sail driven Whike, solar ELF trike
  • Human-Solar Hybrid trike ELF: this comfortable human-solar powered electric trike can go for 20 miles rain or shine – with only light pedaling. A roof mounted solar panel will recharge it in time to take you back home from work. (Already Bought)
  • Sebring Citicar: Before Tesla and Leaf, this was the most produced American Electric Car. (Already Bought)
  • Biodiesel Setup: This exhibit shows how biodiesel fuel is produced from used vegetable oil. Many diesel cars can use biodiesel fuel without any modifications. (Already Bought)
  • Flywheel Powered Bicycle: Why lose energy to friction when you want to slow down? Spin up the flywheel to slow down, and it later helps you accelerate. This bike won an engineering award, and its inventor kindly agreed to let us showcase it. (Already borrowed)
  • Wood-powered Car: all you need to drive this car is wood chips, or some other biomass. In fact, people claim that they have successfully used soiled diapers as fuel. We have identified several available cars.
  • Compressed Air-powered Car: This car uses compressed air to power the motor. A single quick charge allows it to go for 70-90 miles. An on-board compressor fills up the tank using a regular 110 volt outlet. We have communicated with the manufacturer and expect to be getting a demo car.
  • Veggie Oil Motor Setup: When Rudolf Diesel invented what we know today as a Diesel engine, he designed it to run on vegetable oil. We identified one such motor, and will make it run on used veggie oil.
  • Wind powered vehicle: This three wheeled pedal trike is also powered by the wind. This kind of vehicle recently completed a cross-country road trip, covering up to 150 miles each day. We are in touch with a manufacturer in the UK.
  •  

Here are a few of the renewable energy exhibits that we are planning to feature in the Renewable Energy section of the Park. We have already identified all the necessary elements to assemble/purchase.

Left to right: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, Fresnel Lens, Solar Tracker, Solar Steam engine
Left to right: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, Fresnel Lens, Solar Tracker, Solar Steam engine
  • Archimedes Death Ray: This idea is attributed to Archimedes. We will use multiple concave mirrors to focus sunlight on a wooden target in order to bring its temperature up to the point of combustion. 
  • Secrets of the Solar Panels: This exhibit will measure the impacts of temperature, light, wind and shade on photo-voltaic (PV) solar panels. *** Already built ***
  • Solar Trackers: See how various types of solar trackers help PV panels follow the sun. *** Already bought ***
  • 2-Liter Light Bulb: See how you can replace a 60 watt bulb with a 2-liter soda bottle. *** Already built ***
  • Solar Steam Engine: This exhibit has got it all — solar panels, a steam engine, even a train whistle! 
  • Fresnel Lens: Invented by the French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, it can be used to cook an omelet or to melt a rock. *** Already bought ***
  • DIY Solar Hot Water: This exhibit will show the many easy ways to harvest solar energy directly as hot water. 
  • Hydro-power: No time to build a second Hoover dam? No problem. This exhibit will show you different ways to harvest the power of water. *** Already bought ***
  • Small Scale Wind Power Generation: This exhibit will introduce you to home-scale wind power. 
  • Geothermal Cooling: Even on the hottest summer day, you can count on getting an unlimited amount of free cool air. We will use this exhibit to bring cool air to a gazebo.
  •  

The following photos represent some the types of green building methods that will be featured in the Green Building exhibit. For each of these methods we'll showcase an L shaped wall with a number of interactive elements.

Left to right: Cordwood, Earthship, Straw-Bale, Papercrete
Left to right: Cordwood, Earthship, Straw-Bale, Papercrete
  • Cordwood Construction: Walls in this type of house are made of leftover log ends, used as bricks, and mortar. *** Already Built ***
  • Earthship: This construction type allows for the creative reuse of used tires: they are filled with dirt and are used as bricks. The house is designed to capture rainwater and to grow food for its residents. *** Already Scheduled to be built ***
  • Papercrete Construction: Paper pulp, which is created by soaking old newspapers, is mixed with cement, to pour light-weight yet durable forms. 
  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIP): This is a modern invention, where plywood, foam boards and sheetrock are sandwiched together. All you need to build a house is to connect four panels, and cut out doors and windows.
  • Adobe construction: This ancient building method is still in use in many parts of the world. 
  • Living Roof: See the anatomy of the living “green” roof. 
  • Trombe Wall Passive Solar Heating: there are many ways that passive solar heating can be accomplished; this exhibit will feature one method called the Trombe wall, where a thin vertical space produces a greenhouse effect to generate hot air even on the coldest winter days. *** Already Built ***
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  •   Strawbale Construction: Straw bales can be used to build houses, both as insulation and as weight-bearing walls. *** Already Built ***

 Current status as of spring 2017:

  • We have already purchased 12 acres on VT Route 100, minutes from the Ben & Jerry 's factory, on the way to Stowe, VT
  • We have worked with an engineering company and received all the necessary state and town permits.
  • We have roughed-in a 20 car parking lot.
  • We have started to build, make, and buy various exhibits. Here are some of the bigger results:
    - We've build the cordwood and straw-bale exhibits.
    - We've purchased a solar-human hybrid trike, a first mass-produced American electric car, and biodiesel setup
    - We've borrowed a flywheel bicycle.
    - We've constructed a hydro power setup, bought two solar trackers and two wind turbines, a gravity powered LED light, and built an interactive solar panel energy exhibit.

Timeline:

  • 2011 initial idea of Sustainability Park
  • 2011 - 2015: in-depth research, search for land
  • 2015: we found land
  • Spring 2016: we bought land and received permits
  • Summer 2016: started building & buying exhibits
  • Summer 2017: projected opening

The story behind GreenSpark:

Back in 2010-2011, we (Alex & Ella) traveled 30,000 miles across USA and Canada, seeking out and visiting countless projects in the realm of sustainability. After seeing so many different exciting ideas, a plan to share them with the world was born.

Privacy note: If you would like your pledges to remain anonymous, please let us know and we will not mention your name anywhere at all.

Press Kit: GreenSparkVT.com/kickstarter/press-kit/

Kickstarter video credits: GreenSparkVT.com/kickstarter/credits

Risks and challenges

We already own the land and have received all the permits.The next highest risk is getting delayed. It may happen due to weather - June is often very rainy in Vermont. Another risk is not being able to procure all the planned exhibits by the opening day - some exhibits, like the wood powered car, are not mass produced and are only offered for sale periodically as a DIY build. But these rare custom exhibits are a small minority of what we're planning to showcase. All in all, we are expecting smooth sailing from here to the opening day - once we're funded.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Be the Spark

    Be the Spark you want to see in the world!

    In addition to our enormous renewable gratitude, you will be listed in the Online Backers Hall of Fame and you will get access to our backer-only online digital content — behind the scenes video updates, a gallery of professionally made photos of the exhibits and park's nature, usable as wallpapers.

    Includes:
    • Get listed in the Online Backers Hall of Fame
    • Behind the scenes video updates
    • Professional photo gallery of the exhibits & park's nature
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    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    GreenSpark Live

    Join us for a live online video tour of the Park (summer 2018), get listed in our On-Site Backers Hall of Fame, and we'll mail you our artfully designed appreciation certificate, our bumper sticker, plus you will get everything from "Be the Spark" reward.

    Includes:
    • Live online video tour of the Park
    • Get listed in the On-Site Backers Hall of Fame
    • GreenSpark Bumper Sticker
    • Unique printed Appreciation Certificate
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    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    Become a Sustainability Ambassador

    Two admission tickets to the park for 2018.

    You will also get a hand-printed backer-only "Sustainability Ambassador" t-shirt and a hand-made wooden coaster with the GreenSpark's logo on it. You will also get all of the perks of the "GreenSpark Live" reward. We will give you all your rewards when you visit the park. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

    Includes:
    • Two admissions to the park
    • Hand-printed backer-only "Sustainability Ambassador" T-shirt
    • Hand-made wooden coaster with the GreenSpark logo
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    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    Be a School Patron!

    Sponsor two admissions for a school trip!

    Get a personal 'thank you' note from one of the students you helped, as school trips are scheduled. You will also get a hand printed backer-only "School Patron" t-shirt and a hand-made wooden coaster with the GreenSpark's logo, plus everything from the "GreenSpark Live" reward.

    Includes:
    • Personal thank you letter from a student you helped
    • Hand printed backer-only "School Patron" t-shirt
    • Hand-made wooden coaster with the GreenSpark logo
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    Pledge $93 or more About $93

    In-Depth Founder's Tour.

    Get two spots on a special in-depth tour of the park led by the founders, plus everything from the "Sustainability Ambassador" reward. We will give you all your rewards when you visit the park. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

    Includes:
    • two spots on an in-depth tour of the park led by the founders
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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Park Membership - Individual

    Get the individual GreenSpark membership for two seasons. This means unlimited free admissions to the park for you for the part of 2017 season that we'll be open and all of 2018 season. This also includes free admission to our member-only annual event in 2018. You will also get everything from the "Sustainability Ambassador" reward. We will give you all your rewards on your first visit to the park in 2018. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

    Includes:
    • Unlimited admissions for two seasons 2017 & 2018
    • Free admission to the annual member-only special event
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    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    Park Membership - Family

    Get the family GreenSpark membership for two GreenSpark seasons. This means unlimited free admissions to the park for two adults (kids are admitted free when visiting with you) for the part of 2017 season that we'll be open and all of 2018 season. This also includes free admission to our member-only annual event in 2018. You will also get everything from the "Sustainability Ambassador" reward. We will give you all your rewards on your first visit to the park in 2018. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

    Includes:
    • Unlimited admissions for two seasons 2017 & 2018
    • Free admission to the annual member-only special event
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    Pledge $247 or more About $247

    Shotgun!

    One of the founders will take you on a picturesque 30 minute tour of the area in a sustainable transportation exhibit vehicles. You will also get everything from the "Sustainability Ambassador" reward. Note: if you would like to bring a guest, this tour can be likely divided into two 15 minute tours (most of our vehicles are two-sitters). We will give you all your rewards when you visit the park. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details. Due to the battery recharge times, weather dependencies, etc, our conservative estimate is that we will likely be able to do up to two rides per day. It may turn out to be more frequent, but we will not know until we start.

    Includes:
    • 30 minute neighborhood tour in sustainable transport exhibit car
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Immortality!

    Lifetime of free admission to GreenSpark! You will get a printed Immortality Certificate, signed by the founders. We will ring the bell every time you come in. We will plant and name a tree in your honor. Also includes 4 free friend or family admissions per year. Also includes free admission to the annual member-only event. It also includes all items from the "Sustainability Ambassador" reward. We will personally give you all your rewards on your first visit to the park in 2018. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

    Includes:
    • Immortality Certificate
    • We will plant and name a tree in your honor
    • 4 free friend/family admissions per year
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    Pledge $2,475 or more About $2,475

    GreenSpark Anywhere

    One of GreenSpark co-founders will personally fly out to you to make a presentation on the Sustainability related topic of your choice. We'll bring t-shirts and other 'green' swag to hand out. We will bring along several scaled down exhibits to show. We will also bring ten free park passes to hand out. We will also buy carbon offsets for air travel involved.
    Available within USA only. Please add $500 to your backing amount if you are in Hawaii.

    Includes:
    • visit by a GreenSpark founder
    • bag of swag to give out
    • 10 park tickets
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Sustainability Education Champion

    Backing at this level is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of countless students in Vermont. Your generous contribution will cover all school trips to GreenSpark for the entire calendar year. Backer #1 would cover all the trips in 2018, backer #2 would cover all the school trips in 2019, etc. You will also get everything from the "Be a School Patron!" reward, and everything from the "Park Membership - Family" reward.

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    Pledge $6,500 or more About $6,500

    Sponsor an EV charging station

    Your generous contribution will support one of three EV Charging stations at GreenSpark parking lot. We will also put a plaque with your name on it, and we will give you due credit during our Grand Opening. You will also get everything from the "Park Membership - Family" reward. We will give you all your rewards on your first visit to the park in 2018. Please notify us in advance so we're ready - we'll communicate the details.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Visionary

    A contribution like this is monumental. We'll collaborate with you to develop a plan on how we can make best use of your contribution to further GreenSpark's mission. We will take you on a Sustainability tour of Vermont that we'll organize exclusively for this occasion. We will be honored to invite you to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and you will get a signed part of the ribbon to keep. You will also get everything from the "Immortality" reward. Your name will be listed in large font on top of the On-Site Backers Hall of Fame.

    Includes:
    • Collaborate with the founders to develop an action plan
    • Sustainability Tour of Vermont
    • Participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony, get the signed ribbon
    • Listing in large font on top of the On-Site Backers Hall of Fame
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Funding period

- (30 days)