Presidents Park Greenhouse
The Presidents Park Greenhouse (PPG) was formerly owned by the College of Science and was used to grow plants for Biology and Ecology classes. In 2013, the College of Science occupants moved to the top of Exploratory Hall, leaving the greenhouse vacant. The Office of Sustainability took ownership of the greenhouse in 2014 and created a plan for year-round food production. The plan involved the installation of a hydroponic food production system and was made possible through generous grants from both the Auxiliary Enterprise Management Council and Patriot Green Fund.
The staff at the PPG now produce approximately 2,000 lbs. of fresh produce annually which raises $20,000 each year that is used to pay for supplies, staff and utilities. Harvests include fresh produce such as basil, cilantro, lettuce, and other greens. The new system recently added is now producing tomatoes, fresh thyme and mint.
Greenhouse Volunteering – Join Us!
The PPG’s success has been built upon the generous help and support of its volunteers. We would love for you to join us. You can contribute to your community’s sustainable efforts and learn hands on how to grow your own food.
All volunteers, students or otherwise, are required to register for a volunteer shift through Sign Up Genius. Follow the link to secure your spot before they fill up!
The volunteer shifts are available first come-first serve. There will also be occasional group tours that you can sign up for to help you get started. You can learn to assist us with harvests, seed sowing, transplanting, composting and more. You do not need any prior experience, Maria and Doni, the greenhouse staff will lead you through the tasks.
If you plan to volunteer we recommend wearing clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. Also, please bring your own reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. The greenhouse gets hot on sunny days, so dress in layers in case you need to cool off wear sunscreen, or a hat.
You can watch our Volunteer Tutorial Videos to be prepared before you get started:
Greenhouse Intro https://youtu.be/xeEJlX_GjT0
Entering the Greenhouse https://youtu.be/3A7ByEbfGRk
Worm Bin Sorting How To https://youtu.be/-y4LdkaRM-s
More videos coming soon!
If you are a student in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, you will need 3 credits of an internship to graduate. You can do this internship at the greenhouse and gardens hosted by the Office of Sustainability. You can find all the application materials in this Google Drive folder. Deadline for Fall 2018 is August 17th at 5 pm. Please email Doni at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know you’re applying.
All of the produce grown in the PPG is sold to Mason Dining, managed by Sodexo. Each harvest is incorporated into the recipes and salad bars at Ike’s, Southside, the Globe, and catering. In exchange for the produce, Mason Dining contributes toward the PPG’s operational costs.
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Donielle Nolan (Doni for short)
Greenhouse and Gardens Program Manager