Community Partners Unveil Genesis Education Center Greenhouse – Greenwood, SC

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Greenwood School District 50, along with several other community organizations, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Genesis Education Center (GEC) Greenhouse. Thanks to community partnerships with Lowe’s, Keep Greenwood County Beautiful (KGCB), Eat Smart Move More Greenwood County, Greenwood Community Garden Project volunteers and Healthy Greenwood Neighborhoods, the GEC Greenhouse will engage young students and enhance Greenwood’s Community Garden Program.

The GEC Greenhouse project was funded solely through grant monies from the Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Healthy South Carolina Initiative. The grant monies will allow for the facilitation and installation of a fully-operational polycarbonate covered greenhouse at GEC. The greenhouse will be complete with irrigation, Chemigation, tables, fans, etc.

The GEC Greenhouse will be operated by GEC students in grades six through 12. Students will be actively involved in maintaining a seasonal garden and selling produce on site through the Producing Produce Entrepreneurs program. Students will also be expected to complete the Jr. Master Gardening course and conduct all planting, nurturing and preparing of seedlings.

The construction of the GEC Greenhouse will immediately address three local concerns dealing with greenhouse construction, seedling and garden development, introducing business principles and healthy eating.

“This greenhouse project will enhance our current Greenwood Community Garden Program in so many diverse ways,” KGCB Coordinator Toni Able explained. “The most exciting aspect is going to be the involvement of young students. They will be involved in the entire process, from growing fresh produce from seeds to actually creating a small business in selling the produce.”

“We believe this program can and will have a positive influence in our school district,” Superintendent Darrell Johnson stated. “Genesis Academy students will be active participants in this project and gain valuable experience in marketing, community awareness, teamwork and nutrition.”

Keep Allen Beautiful, Allen Texas

There’s a new greenhouse in Allen courtesy of a $5,000 Lowe’s/KAB Community Improvement Grant. Keep Allen Beautiful and the City of Allen’s Urban Forestry Division teamed up with the local Lowe’s Heroes to purchase and install a much-needed and greatly anticipated greenhouse. The City of Allen is a growing suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that takes great pride in providing high-quality public amenities for its 88,600+ residents. Allen’s Urban Forestry Division maintains the City’s urban forest as well as all public park and open space landscape beds consisting of 63 public sites that total 876 maintained public acres, with an additional 225 undeveloped acres to be landscaped and maintained in the future.

The new greenhouse will give failing plants a place to recoup when the ever-changing Texas weather puts them under too much stress, as well as providing a place to grow new plants and nurture plants that have been removed for road expansions. Of course, getting a jump-start on spring plants during the winter instead of purchasing plants is also a rationale for the new structure. Putting the greenhouse to work stretches public tax dollars in sustaining the City’s public landscapes. The Urban Forestry Division is currently working on the final plans for an educational component, hoping to open the greenhouse for educational purposes in the coming months.

Thanks to Lowe’s corporate funding and local Lowe’s Heroes’ installation assistance, the City of Allen Urban Forestry Division and Keep Allen Beautiful have a much-needed greenhouse purchased, installed, and fully operational!