School officials say they’ve explored options to winterize the 10-year-old greenhouse for quite some time, but money was needed to move the project forward. A grant from the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, together with a grant from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, has provided sufficient funding to complete the project, noted CHS Principal Paul Kunde.
Kunde said he is excited about the grant funds and what they mean for the greenhouse program’s future.
“The growing season and the school year don’t match up real well,” he explained. “It’s been our vision for a few years to have the greenhouse be a year-round operation for our students.”
Kunde said the students love the greenhouse program, but since the facility isn’t winterized, it limits when it can be used.
“One of the constraints we have right now is that we can only run it in the fall and spring,” he said.
The school has had fundraisers over the past few years to raise money to winterize the facility, and Kunde noted that the grants from the city will help push them over the funding goal.
“We’re very excited with the goal of having it operational this winter,” Kunde said. “Sustainable farming and things like that, and having the students learn those skills, are critical moving forward.”
City and Main Street officials said they want to create an ongoing community-based partnership with Central High School, and also seek new ways to inspire environmentally conscious entrepreneurs among the students.
“We’re hoping this partnership will raise awareness among other community partners, and the general public here in Grand Haven, by highlighting the benefits of bolstering the health and well-being of our shared environment,” noted Grand Haven Main Street’s Ryan Bond. “We’re hoping that this will not only help the school and students and staff there, and that it’d also be an example to shine as a beacon for other future opportunities here.”