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.”