The Georgia Highlands College greenhouse at the Cartersville site has been used for classes, research, and even as a source of fresh produce for the Charger Food Pantry. Recently, GHC faculty, staff, and students from the student group Green Highlands came together to upgrade the area.
Work included cleaning and weeding the beds, repairing and expanding the fence surrounding the outdoor gardens and planting some of the seedlings that were previously planted indoors.
Additionally, this year, volunteers installed solar panels to the structure that can be used to supply power to ventilation fans.
Brandy Rogers, who serves as assistant professor of biology as well as faculty advisor for Green Highlands, said more improvements are planned for the greenhouse, such as implementing functional windows that can be opened to increase air flow.
“This greenhouse is one of many tools that we in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have in our toolbox to provide hands-on, high-quality instruction to our students,” Biology Chair Jason Christian said. “We will continue to update and improve the structure and surrounding area as our needs for instruction change.”
Constructed in 2016, the greenhouse lends itself to numerous uses in addition to classroom and laboratory activities. For example, many people who have been involved take away skills to grow their own garden at home.
Green Highlands, which promotes a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on well-being and environmental concerns, has played a role in helping with some of the day-to-day activities at the greenhouse and surrounding areas, like weeding and watering as well as harvesting vegetables to donate to the Charger Food Pantry or to distribute to students directly. The organization is also growing flowers such as zinnias, sunflowers and marigolds that attract pollinators, feed birds and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the garden.