A greenhouse effect: Community greenhouse opens at Carson High | NevadaAppeal.com

A greenhouse effect: Community greenhouse opens at Carson High

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealCarson City Mayor Bob Crowell and Greenhouse Project President Karen Abowd present Mark Lopiccolo with a commendation at The Greenhouse Project ribbon cutting on Friday afternoon.

Although Carson City was a chill 39 degrees Friday afternoon, inside the newly opened community greenhouse on the Carson High School campus it was a balmy 82.

“If (Principal Ron Beck) ever has any teachers absent from duty,” joked Superintendent Richard Stokes, “I’d come out here and have a look around.”

After three years of planning and building, the greenhouse project bloomed Friday during a grand-opening ceremony.

Supervisor Karen Abowd spearheaded the project but pointed out she did not work alone.

“It truly takes a village of volunteers to bring a project like this to fruition,” she said. “This is a community greenhouse. We are all connected by a need for food, recognize our responsibility and have a vision for the future.”

The greenhouse will serve student and community groups.

Special-needs students at Carson High School will grow flowers for the downtown baskets and to sell for fundraisers.

The high school instituted an agriculture class to support the greenhouse as well as forming a chapter of the student leadership organization, FFA.

Michele Lewis, dean, said the club will provide students with future opportunities.

“Agriculture is more than planting and harvesting,” she said. “It’s a science, it’s a business and it’s an art.”

Food harvested will be used in the school’s culinary arts program and also will go to local food banks.

“Isn’t this a wonderful addition to Carson City?” asked Mayor Bob Crowell. “I can’t tell you how proud I am.”

During the ceremony, Lopiccolo Construction was presented a certificate of commendation from the Carson City Board of Supervisors for its work on the greenhouse.

On behalf of Sen. Harry Reid, certificates also were presented to the school district and the Carson City Cultural Commission.

“This is going to inspire so many kids,” said Reid’s regional representative, Yolanda Garcia.

AmeriCorps volunteer Ray Saliga will oversee the operations of the greenhouse and said students will begin planting Monday.

Abowd said she was happy to see the project complete but still is holding out for one milestone.

“I want to see this place full of plant life,” she said. “I want to see the hanging baskets. I want to see all of that.”