• Ventura County Star: Green Center in Oxnard a hub for sustainability ideas
    Friday, June 4, 2010 at

  • By Sigourney Nuñez
    Posted June 3, 2010

    After a year of planning and decades of outreach services, Community Action of Ventura County held the grand opening Wednesday of its new Green Center.

    With the help of nonprofit organizations, local businesses and vendors, the Green Center offers the community a wide range of information about going green.

    “It’s a hub for information on sustainability and energy efficiency,” said the Green Center Manager Javier Saucedo.

    The facility focuses on different sections — food, energy, water, transit and homes. Through demonstration centers, displays of energy efficient technology and exhibits, the Green Center is meant to cater to families and local contractors.

    Local vendors showcase green products and services, ranging from water-saving plumbing supplies, soil products made from recycled yard waste, to organic handmade rugs.

    The facility also serves as a learning opportunity for youth. With hands-on displays and interactive activities, children can learn about green building supplies and energy and water conservation.

    The Green Center also can provide its “mini Green Center on wheels” mobile exhibit for events.

    Saucedo said Oxnard has been working toward going green since 1978 and is proud to have helped establish a facility that can benefit the community.

    “I always knew I could teach people that they could save energy,” he said. “They can come here to get knowledge and go home with ideas to make their home more energy efficient,”

    Saucedo has been involved with weatherization of homes for three years. He said he finds many people are not aware they can use green technology to help lower their gas, water and electric bills.

    “They struggle with bills; they can use energy efficient products to help them,” he said.

    Solar World is one of the businesses that collaborated with CAVC, donated a solar panel to help demonstrate energy conservation.

    “Through awareness of options in building materials and things like alternative energy and through the ability to help contractors, we educate them about solar energy,” said Jamie Skenderain, the product-marketing engineer of Solar World.

    The idea to have the Green Center was sparked after attending town hall meetings, said Socorro López Hanson, the executive director of CAVC.

    “I noticed they were saying they needed ways to save money due to the economic downturn. We needed programs and this was a good way to help the earth and people,” she said.

    The Green Center will also serve as a learning site for local contractors and the group hopes to help people find jobs through its outreach programs.

    “The future is in green technologies,” said López Hanson. “Individuals today, in order to have a better opportunity in long term careers, need to be informed.”

    Saucedo said CAVC has been helping the community for 45 years.

    “This is just one more step,” he said.

    The Green Center is a free exhibit open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3401 W. Fifth St., Oxnard.

    © 2010 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

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