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Growing Greenhouses and Gardens

Posted by | June 4, 2007

The horticulture teaching greenhouses between Lighty Student Services and Ensminger Pavilion are just about gone. Work crews have removed all but the foundation of these relics. A couple of times in recent weeks, I have had conversations with faculty who were troubled by this event, stating that we were removing a symbol of agricultural programs at WSU. Let me offer a different perspective. While the greenhouses may have symbolized WSU agriculture, they reinforced an image of agriculture being a relic of the past, using 40-year-old technologies, and with a dismal future. Obviously, we work hard each day to break down this image and advance agriculture as a modern, dynamic, science-based industry.

The removal of the greenhouses is one component of a multiple-part plan to develop a corridor between Lighty and the Alumni Center that celebrates WSU agriculture past and present. The 2/3-acre site of the old greenhouses will be converted to a Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Display Garden. With the assistance of Phil Waite, associate professor of landscape architecture, traces of the greenhouses will be incorporated into the garden’s design in order to both preserve and serve as a reminder of the past. A great story on the project, written by CAHNRS communications coordinator, Brian Clark, can be found here.

Included in the project, and part of the “deal” cut with Central Administration, is the installation of new restrooms in Ensminger Pavilion. Also, brand new teaching greenhouses are being built, and near completion, northeast of the FSHN Building. While not as convenient for horticulture students, this new greenhouse will allow the Hort Club and other users of the greenhouse to grow plants without first having to remove the snow from the benches inside the greenhouse. Clearly, this project is a win-win-win for CAHNRS, the horticulture program, and the university community.