Be an Observational Carbon Farmer
Become an Observational Carbon Farmer TODAY and support our citizen science study that looks at whether backyards can help sequester carbon and reduce climate change!
(Bonus: It’s a GREAT science activity to do with kids!)
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels is essential to reducing climate warming, but this alone will not be enough to curb the warming trend. We need to remove carbon already in the atmosphere to avoid the worst-case scenarios of climate change.
Promising research from the Marin Carbon Project in California and similar initiatives suggests that a widespread focus on building healthy soils may be our best hope to draw down and safely store atmospheric carbon dioxide. It’s called “carbon farming,” and Eco-Cycle is working to bring these practices to Boulder County, working with a coalition of partners to explore this potential on agricultural landscapes.
But what about urban landscapes and their potential to draw down carbon? Urban lands have a great potential to serve as carbon sinks, but that potential is minimally explored, documented and shared.
Community Carbon Farmer Campaign 2019-2022
In 2019, Eco-Cycle, the City of Boulder and 250 participants throughout the county began a three-year scientific study to determine the potential of carbon farming in residential backyards. We’re also looking at urban open space such as parkland, ballfields, business park planted areas, and large medians, which constitute 30% or more of urban land in Boulder County and could be used for carbon farming as well!
You can still help contribute to this important science! JOIN US as a volunteer Observational Carbon Farmer
We are seeking 250 MORE participants to join us for this community science project as volunteer “Observational Carbon Farmers,” or OCFs. Participants in our OCF program will be working in tandem with our 250 Community Carbon Farming Campaign volunteers who, in 2019, joined our three-year study applying different soil regeneration and carbon capture treatments on their own backyard and then testing the soil for increased carbon.
We are now expanding this study to include 250 Observational Carbon Farmers who will follow along with our study, try some of these carbon sequestering techniques in their own backyards, and use a new app designed to help gather and track data.
It’s easy to be a Volunteer Observational Carbon Farmer. To qualify you need to:
- Have a lawn that’s at least 20’x 10’, but it can be anywhere! While the community carbon farming campaign study is being conducted solely in Boulder County or Broomfield County, the Observational Carbon Farming study can be done by anyone anywhere!
- Be willing to commit to the program for at least one growing season (e.g. summer to fall).
- Have a cell phone you can use to download and use the LandPKS app we’ll be using in this study.
Here’s how the program works
Identify a 20’ x 10’ portion of lawn you’re willing to dedicate to the study. (Don’t worry, it should improve your lawn!). You’re using half for the trial, and half for the control.
Attend a one-hour virtual training to learn a bit more about carbon farming and this project, how to determine what type of soil is in your yard, how to apply compost and how to use the app.
Purchase and apply a compost treatment to the trial section of your yard. We’ll share some great resources for locally-produced compost.
Download the LandPKS app and add your data to the program (we’ll have videos to walk you through soil testing and using the app).
Download or pick up a sign to post to share with neighbors that you’re a carbon farming to help spread this educational message.
Stay engaged with us throughout the growing season! We’ll be sending surveys through emails to ask some observational questions about your lawn (color, blade height, etc.) and hearing back from you is key!
As an Observational Farmer, you’ll be contributing to a ground-breaking citizen science study. But what’s in it for you? You’ll learn:
- All about carbon sequestration and the science around it.
- How to do a soil test yourself to learn what type of soil is in your backyard! Knowing this can help you understand what your soil needs to support thriving grass and plants.
- How you can use compost to reduce your water usage (and bills).
And you and your family can have fun joining in on a community-based science project and being part of a hopeful solution for the future!
Sign up to become an “Observational Scientist" Carbon Farmer. We will be in touch in the next two weeks with more details!