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Alverno College Celebrates the Grand Opening of Its Greenhouse

Alverno College recently held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new greenhouse. Guests, who included faculty, staff, students, the Board of Trustees, and other key stakeholders, were able to sample hors d’oeuvres that incorporated kale, tomatoes, and perch grown in the greenhouse.

 The Alverno College greenhouse is a 1,400-square-foot living laboratory with a state-of-the-art aquaponics facility that sustainably grows plants, vegetables, and yellow perch. It offers students an exciting opportunity to engage in hands-on learning, participate in re- search projects, and explore new career

paths in food, urban agriculture, water re- search, conservation, and human services industries. Built in partnership with the A.O. Smith Foundation, the project also received support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Whether it’s planting the seeds for students to further ex-members to sustainable agriculture, or providing nourishment for a student in need, the impact of the greenhouse is widespread,” said Dr. Joseph Foy, interim president of Alverno College.

The facility was designed with teaching at the forefront, allowing students to have hands-on access to the greenhouse, exploring how science, education and art are uniquely inter- twined. “Everyone can explore new thoughts and research, to work with their hands, and to use the greenhouse as their own educational tool,” said Emma Ray, greenhouse manager.

“Hopefully it opens people’s eyes to new experiences and different kinds of careers to find some passion, perhaps in another way than they were thinking,” said Rebekah Klingler, greenhouse director and assistant professor of biology. “I believe that until you try it, you don’t know what you like. So, it’s just another tool for trying new things.”