Council District- Forest Service Cooperative Greenhouse
The greenhouse was built with funds from Federal grants and significant in-kind and local support. This fully-functional building enables students of all grades to participate in hands-on science curriculum and to grow plants year-round. Projects in the greenhouse at any given time include tracking growth rates of seedlings, testing native plant propagation techniques, growing native plants for habitat restoration projects, or even cultivating beautiful flower baskets to give to that year’s high school graduates.
The school, as part of the original funding agreement with the Forest Service, gathers native seed from local sources and grows over 2,000 seedlings per year for use on Forest lands in Adams County. Students, as part of the high school summer CERC crew, even plant these seedlings themselves, allowing them to have a direct role in sustaining and restoring forest lands right in their own “backyard”.
- Council High School’s Greenhouses Benefit the Community – by Dale Fisk (The Adams County Record – April 18, 2013 Edition)
Mrs. Holmes wrote about some of the non-Forest projects that are being undertaken by students:
“The Forest and Rangeland students are working with the third graders on planting some vegetation and sprucing up the Council Community Pond. Students will plant willows that they started from cuttings they collected from trees growing along the Weiser River Trail. Students will also plant some small wild roses near the pond. They started the roses from seed, experimenting with a variety of scarification processes. The floral class is growing plants that they will take home in huge planters they made from reclaimed tubs that contained cattle molasses/protein supplements.”
“Students in multiple grade levels planted fruit trees in a small orchard near the elementary school play ground about four years ago with the financial help of many people and organizations in the community. The trees bore fruit last year. The Fugi apples were a huge hit with the students and staff alike. We will be replanting six of the fruit trees that did not survive with trees donated and grown from Henngler Packing in Fruitland. We have been pruning and cleaning the orchard this spring and hope for another, but bigger crop this year.”
“The sixth graders planted pepper seeds and eggplant seeds with Linda Barrett that will eventually be planted in the community garden. Floral students planted onion seeds with Sally Cole that will be planted in the Community Garden.”
One of the direct benefits to the community is that local folks can use the greenhouses to start plants for their gardens.
So far the greenhouses have been a very unique part of the school and our community, and the future may hold even more fascinating projects. The school hopes to expand the uses for the greenhouses by growing Tilapia fish and engage in other aquaculture.