Running on sunshine

Debs Park Center hosts solar installation and maintenance workshop

The Audubon Center at Debs Park is a stark break from its urban Los Angeles surroundings. A short drive from the freeway, Debs Parks is filled with rolling golden hills and LA sunshine. The Center itself is full of life—from the lily pads in the courtyard pond to the families traversing the trails.

As an educational center and platinum LEED-certified building, the Debs Park Center has also shown visitors what a sustainable building can look like since its opening in 2003. Over the past few years, however, the Center has also offered solar power workshops to teach visitors how they can make their own homes and offices more sustainable.

The Center itself is green in many ways, from the metal frame made from recycled guns to the water reclamation efforts, so it only made sense for the building to be powered renewably as well. With the movie-style LA sunshine readily available, the decision was made to go off the grid and use solar panels.

As rooftop solar is increasingly affordable for any size of project nearly a decade later, the same contractor that installed the Debs Park Center’s solar panel system is now teaching a class at the Center for anyone to learn how to install and maintain solar panels.

That contractor is Wade Webb of Silver Fox Renewables. Webb leads the training at the Debs Park Center on the third Saturday of every month.

“It gives people the opportunity to see and do real maintenance on the system that powers the Audubon Center,” Webb explained. “Then they can apply those skills to put solar panels on their own houses or even branch into a new career.”

Rooftop solar is one of the most wildlife-friendly methods of energy production, as it is a renewable, emissions-free source that doesn’t require additional land development or habitat destruction. It’s also becoming more and more financially accessible.

“With so many options to buy or lease panels, solar is affordable for many people,” Webb said. “And if you can maintain it yourself, it becomes even more financially sound.”

Curious about what Webb is teaching, or how solar panels manage to supply power to the Debs Center 24/7? Check out this sneak-peek video:

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