The Growroom - an urban farm pavilion

Standing tall as a spherical garden, the Growroom empowers people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.

Project Website
Karissa Noselski

Karissa Noselski

Having recently joined ReThink Red Deer as their Business Development & Community Engagement Coordinator, I'm currently involved in various local initiatives that aim to reconnect people to their community and to the natural environment. I'm a Community Design graduate from Dalhousie University’s School of Planning. My interest in sustainable urban design stemmed from learning about the history of human settlement. As I witnessed and learned about the encroachment of development on natural landscapes and prime agricultural land, I gained a greater understanding of the need for smart urban planning, and creative built environment solutions. After spending a semester studying abroad in Australia, it became clear to me that we need to take collective action against the looming food crisis and need to find a way to feed the world as the population becomes increasingly urbanized. Through my travels and studies, I became determined to help improve quality of life in cities through thoughtful, localized, and integrated design. After finishing a practicum in sustainable agriculture at UBC Farm in Vancouver, I was inspired to continue urban farming and to act as an active advocate for the local organic food movement. Currently en route to continue my education in landscape architecture, I aim to dive into the design and installation of vertical gardens, green roofs, edible landscaping and more, exploring the many different ways of building sustainable and resilient communities. I believe in the need to make use of underutilized urban spaces to grow food in ways that are beautiful and creative, all while creating interactive and educational community-driven public places.

Jim Thomson

Jim Thomson

During my nine years as a RDC Carpentry trade instructor I’ve become increasing aware of our shared need to build far more energy-efficient buildings and a more sustainable environment. Over the past two years I have attended many Passive House courses and seminars plus toured several projects to learn more about this highly energy-efficient standard of construction. Although the Passive House certification may appear to apply only to residential units, this standard can also be used for other multi-family, commercial, institutional and light industrial applications and I believe it represents the future of construction. However my interest in a more sustainable environment is why I was pleased to help with the Growroom project. The shape of the project and its choice of materials speaks to its organic nature. This project also represented an opportunity to explore the use of RDC’s computer controlled panel router which was used to create the intricate shapes necessary. I’m always interested in cutting edge technology that is applicable to the construction industry and especially to my trade of Carpentry. I was pleased that all four of the current Carpentry apprenticeship classes toured the Innovation Centre during the routing process and many students were very curious about its future applications and the evolution of the trade. And for those who are interested, come to the Regional Skills Canada-Alberta competition at RDC on April 27th, 2017. The RDC Carpentry Department was pleased to create the Urban Chicken Coop project that these students will be building during their competition.

Heidi Mayer

Heidi Mayer

Heidi Mayer is the Design and Fabrication Lab Technician with Applied Research and Innovation.  Heidi works closely with entrepreneurs to help develop their ideas into proof of concept prototypes.  This is accomplished using a combination of CAD software and state of the art equipment that is housed in the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing. Heidi has a creative background with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Red Deer College and Alberta College of Art and Design.  Heidi is passionate about the maker community and has been involved in getting the Makerspace at Red Deer College started as well as one of the event coordinators for the Red Deer Makerfaire.

Jest Sidloski

Jest Sidloski

As CX Director for Peavey Industries I am responsible for all complaints, comments and inquiries (Internal "Employee" & External "Customer"), this allows a really unique position in the marketplace to identify solutions throughout. My position consists of new store training for employees in new markets as well as building and managing an internal training system called “The Hive”, which is our companies Learning Management System (LMS) that over 1,000 employees have access to. I am also responsible for creating training content and media for The Hive (LMS) as well as building a calendar of vendor training in store across Western Canada and training seminars for public (Such as bees, chickens, canning, welding) As Director of Customer Experience it also involves the complete managing all social media platforms. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Linked-in) this is a unique position for social media placement, but it allows us to respond quicker, keep our pulse on what customers say and want and activate without hesitation. Currently I am also a community spokesperson and media contact for Peavey Industries which includes Peavey Mart & Mainstreet Hardware Stores

Rene Michalak

Rene Michalak

As Project Lead for ReThink Red Deer I'm currently studying renewable energy system design and installation, biomimicry, and resilience theory; exploring urban ecological systems to understand the foundations of community sustainability. I'm a Marketing graduate of the Haskayne School of Business (UofC) and Red Deer's Leadership Centre, a Permaculture Educator (certifying 2016) and practicing Designer (2009), certified Transition Towns trainer (2010), accredited Rainwater Harvesting System Installer (2012), and aspiring SPIN-Farmer. I came to be interested in permaculture design after learning about sustainability and resilience - pouring over hundreds of books and videos, attending conferences, workshops and seminars. I ran into an up-and-coming permaculture trainer and then quickly registered for the first 2-week Design Certification Course in Alberta back in 2009. I came home overflowing with enthusiasm and got to work on my 2-year practicum; hosting a major regional conference on sustainability presented from a food, fuel and finance lens, and then set up an urban homestead complete with a rainwater harvesting system, hoophouse, annual garden and perennial food forest. My time pracitising permaculture is spent developing the Centre for Urban Agriculture in Alberta and an urban homestead demo site - planting and cultivating a food forest garden, developing a rainwater-fed aeroponic and an aquaponic growing system (www.foodgarage.ca) for four-season growing in Canada's unforgiving but beautiful northern climate, helping build community gardens throughout my home town of Red Deer, and increasing participation in the provincial Growing Food Security in Alberta Network (www.foodsecurityalberta.org) to develop and apply a framework in rural communities for Sustainable, Equitable, Local and Regenerative Systems for food (SELRS).