Carson community greenhouse project gets green light
After hitting several road blocks, a community greenhouse that would provide educational opportunities for high school students and fresh produce for the needy got the green light Wednesday from city planners.
The Carson City Planning Commission approved the Arts and Cultural Commission’s bid for a special-use permit to build a greenhouse on Carson High School property.
“I’m thrilled to death,” said Karen Abowd, president of the commission’s Greenhouse Project.
The idea was proposed in 2008 and about a half-dozen sites were considered, but each one fell through for a variety of reasons.
The Greenhouse Project is now partnering with the Carson City School District to build the 2,160-square-foot greenhouse along with outdoor flower and vegetable gardens on the southeast portion of the Carson High School campus.
It will serve as vocational training for students, who will work to produce fresh fruits and vegetables as well as
“The Greenhouse Project will offer a unique academic setting that will offer opportunities associated with horticulture, biology, plant physiology, ecology, landscape design, culinary arts and business education,” said Carson City Superintendent Richard Stokes in a letter of support. “What a great opportunity for our students to study the real-life applications of plant and physical science.”
About 10 percent of the food produced will go the school’s culinary arts program, Abowd said, and the rest will go to local food banks.
“This worthwhile project will offer enough organic produce to assist the Ron Wood Family Resource Center’s efforts in providing wholesome, organic and locally grown produce for families in need,” wrote Joyce Buckingham, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, which supplies food to about 7,000 people per month. “Our food bank is always struggling to offer produce to the community.”
Through a Community Supported Agriculture program, students would earn wages for growing flowers to be sold at local farmers markets. Flowers grown there also would fill the flower baskets at downtown businesses.
Planning commissioners praised the project.
“It’s an excellent project,” said George Wendell. “Agriculture is very significant in Nevada. I’m surprised more programs of this nature aren’t conducted statewide.”
Committee members are in the process of securing grants to fund the $150,000 project, and the Builders Association of Western Nevada will donate supplies and labor to build it.
Construction on the greenhouse is expected to begin by summer and be completed by the time school resumes session in the fall.
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