project leader
Kris H
5000 Colorado 145
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Thank you!

the project

The eventual project will be a series of greenhouses to raise fish and organic vegetables for local consumption. This portion of the project is to create two small aquaponic units that will be used to demonstrate the concept to the intelligent audience attending Telluride’s Mountainfilm Festival. This year’s theme is Climate Solutions. The Telluride Grown aquaponics demonstration units will show the activist crowd that attends the festival how aquaponics works and how small and medium scale efforts can be part of a larger climate solution effort. These units and the accompanying materials and one on one discussions at the festival will show how we will create a model of ‘urban agriculture’ in a remote, high-altitude location that is highly challenged to grow food using conventional methods. The project includes marketing materials that will allow people to remember these demonstration units as they travel home and contact us for more information. We want the overall project to be one seen as a model that can be copied in other similar towns and adapted to enhance local food production throughout the world. The goal is to create these units for the festival at the end of May, but they will also be available for festivals throughout the summer. Once the festival season has ended we anticipate incorporating these units into our local schools so that their impact grows locally as well as the ‘far and wide’ impact we anticipate from their presence at our well attended festivals.

the steps

To complete the project we will create two aquaponic demonstration units first for use at Mountainfilm in late May and then available for use at the other festivals that happen nearly every weekend in Telluride. These units will serve to jumpstart community and visitor interest in the larger project which will rely on grants and donations to get underway.

Steps include: 1) final design of demonstration units in collaboration with experienced personnel, 2) construction/assembly of the units, set up and run prior to event  to stabilize system, 3) introduce fish into the system, 3) introduce plants into the system and balance plant nutrients and water chemistry for a stable system, 4) design and order supportive marketing materials, 5) train local volunteers for discussion with public and festival attendees, 6) track interest through signatures, newsletter signups and donations, 7) post festival debrief and improvements suggested for next festival/use of demonstration units.

why we're doing it

This project begins to address several environmental and community challenges. A high mountain town, Telluride has a miniscule growing season (sometimes less than 90 days) and a large visiting population. Currently 100% of the food consumed here is imported resulting in a high carbon footprint just for food. The most recent greenhouse gas inventory for our region shows that food is responsible for approximately 17-20% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. With our remote location our food must travel many miles to reach us. Not only do those miles add up for our GHG emissions, the quality of the food we receive is often poor due to the length of the journey.  Our oceans are stressed and certain popular species that are under siege, in addition to their exposure to mercury, are flown into Telluride and account for high ratios of greenhouse gas emissions per pound of consumable seafood.  Fish from some local reservoirs have mercury levels high enough that we are warned not to eat anything caught there. We also live in a very arid region, prone to droughts. Colorado has very complex water laws that mean in times of low water many food producers are in jeopardy of having their irrigation water shut off. 

This project will provide environmental education at our festivals and ultimately in our schools. It will lead to improved access to healthy, local, organic vegetables and mercury free fish with the realization of the larger project. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with long transport distances associated with remote towns. And it uses a unique symbiotic system that uses the waste from fish as the nutrient source for plants. Last but not least we believe it lead to greater community connection as this demonstration project will attract people to a small, but unique type of climate solution that is accessible to all.


Fish tanks, necessary plumbing and pumps, stands, growing bed materials                         $5,000

Labor for construction and assembly, installation and monitoring                                        $1,000

Fish, growing media for plants, seedlings                                                                             $845

Marketing and promotional materials including hats – made locally if possible,

flyers (local printer, recycled paper), stickers, etc.                                                                 $3,000

SUBTOTAL = $9,845
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $295
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,175

UPDATE, 10/15/2013

RAISED = $4,158
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $120


Aquaponics demonstration units supplies (fish tanks, stands, materials for grow beds, fish, and plants):   $2,003
Labor for installation and maintenance of aquaponics demontration units:   $500
Marketing materials including limited number of hats, Telluride Grown stickers and seed packets:   $1,500



Thank you!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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