Burton Street Community Solar Project Support– Phase 2

Burton St Phase 2

Gardeners need seeds. The Burton Street Community Peace Gardens is spreading seeds of solar for the entire community. Last summer’s phase 1 solar got residents envisioning solar beyond the garden gate. The next step is to add more solar at the peace gardens, install a solar device charging station with battery storage at the community center, and install a 10.7kW system at St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church (our THANKS to Haynes Solar / MB Haynes the installer for this system and their honest hard work to make this project a successful reality!)

Dewayne Barton, a beloved community leader, envisions a step-by-step expansion of solar throughout the community in a way that engages residents to envision, lead and benefit from the solar charge. Yes, it’s about renewable energy, but it’s deeper aim is regenerating and revitalizing this historic community, and creating opportunities from within. Barton’s dedicated community development and trauma healing work is both legend and inspiring. His humility always rules though and he’d be the first to tell you that he’s just the garden’s “maintenance man.”

Then there’s Rev. Charles Martin, pastor of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church in the Burton Street Community. Martin sees solar as the right thing to do and as a way of supporting the congregation’s box meal mission to feed Asheville’s hungry and homeless. They’re also planning a computer lab in their fellowship hall to help the neighborhood kids a safe, wifi-equipped space to do online school and the elderly access to computers and the internet for keeping in touch with their distant family or to do telemedicine. These are especially valuable contributions during the pandemic. Martin and the congregation want to expand their already impressive outreach to those suffering. St. Paul’s will be an example for other congregations to follow.

What’s so special about Barton’s and Martin’s efforts now is they’re grassroots powered and their mission is to better the lives of their community members. As I’ve heard attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “preach always, sometimes use words”

We’ve got $43,000 worth of solar planned and have all but $25,500 already covered. You can help raise the balance – a “shout-out” to Renewable Design Associates for the donation of 14 NEW solar panels for the project. You can help us raise that balance. If you’re strapped for cash and just can’t give – NO PROBLEM – help us spread the word on Facebook or Instagram !

With gratitude.

Here’s what has been accomplished so far…. now on to Phase 2 with YOUR help.

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* Prior to our Phase 1 solar installation, Asheville’s WLOS-TV did a story on the garden’s educational and healing mission. Below is a short follow-up video about YOUR accomplishment with Burton St Solar Phase 1.