Community Solar Day at Murdoch Center


Flagstaff celebrated Community Solar Day by hosting an event at The Murdoch Center to help raise money and awareness for their Solar Mosaic project this past Friday.  This project — put on by the Southside Community Association — is the first of its kind in Flagstaff.

Jason Lowry, a graduate student in the Sustainable Communities program, is a co-facilitator of the Weatherization and Community Building Action Team (WACBAT) at NAU. He said this event is a way to bring people together in order to benefit the community and make a change for The Murdoch Center.

“The Murdoch Center has very deep roots in the Southside community,” Lowry said. “[With] Community Solar Day, the idea is to begin to build community investment in our local institutions.”

Lowry also said he envisions this project as a foundation for many more like it in Flagstaff’s future, and hopes people will start rethinking what they put their money toward.

“Hopefully [this project will] set the spark that catalyzes, that makes it viral, that takes solar to as many institutions as we can throughout Flagstaff,” Lowry said. “We’d like for people to re-imagine and re-envision what it means to invest; how we can invest in our own institutions.”

Justin Pine, a sophomore environmental science major, is involved in WACBAT and said he believes in the Solar Mosaic project as a way to benefit the community. He said this event shows how important solar energy is because many well known people were in attendance, and it is an asset to NAU.

“I think it’s really cool seeing the community come together, and there are a lot of important people here taking two hours out of their Sunday for a really good cause,” Pine said.  “Our school is on the leading edge of environmentalism with the Action Research Teams (ARTs), which is something that most schools don’t have.”

Linda Webb, a member of the Canyon County Coalition, showed her support of The Murdoch Center by buying the first tile of the project. She said people need to be made more aware of what is occurring in our environment and seriously consider solar energy as a solution.

“I believe in environmental responsibility and I believe in the fact that we need to be more conscious of our usage of energy, and by using solar in particular,” Webb said.

Webb said the Solar Mosaic project is a way for people to come together and put their money towards their community by supporting The Murdoch Center in its endeavor to go solar.

“[Solar Mosaic is an] opportunity to invest in a positive project that’s going to create usable, renewable energy,” Webb said.

Although The Murdoch Center is still working toward its goal of 200 tiles, over 20 tiles were bought at the event in celebration of solar energy.


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