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Green Park Rapids to hold workshop that will kick off two-year program

Green projects

A workshop scheduled for October will help Park Rapids homeowners jumpstart some green projects and kick off a two-year program that's intended to make homes more energy efficient.

Green Park Rapids, with the help of statewide organizations, was able to secure some of a $2 million grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

The two-year program will serve eight cities across the state, said Dave King, director of Financial Resources at the Center for Energy and Environment.

King, along with other Green Park Rapids participants, gave a presentation to the Park Rapids City Council Tuesday, explaining that following up on what's already been done to make homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient, is critical.

"If there was a weak link, the weak link was really with the follow-up," said Green Park Rapids coordinator Sharon Voyda.

The workshop will take place Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon at the River Heights Apartments in Park Rapids. It will provide information for anyone interested in energy conservation.

But citywide residents are the ones who will be able to receive services following the workshop.

Homeowners will be able to sign up for home visits to identify low-cost and no-cost measures to weatherize homes.

During the home visits, residents will receive free items such as low-flow showerheads or light bulbs that can immediately save them money, Voyda said.

A list of certified contractors will be available at the workshop. Those contractors are specifically trained for major home energy efficiency services such as insulations and air leakage problems.

Residents will notice the difference in heating costs right away this winter, Voyda said.

Although anyone can participate in the workshop, only those homes located within the city limits are qualified for the services that will be paid for by the grant.

"We may not do it for every household, but it's certainly going to be a lot better than what we did before," Voyda said.

To sign up for the workshop, call the Housing and Redevelopment Authority office at 732-4158.