TA News

Botany and Horticulture Students Implement Greenhouse Vision

In the fall of 2021, TA’s Botany elective course initiated a revitalization project for Thetford Academy’s school greenhouse. With help from the Thetford Outdoor Program’s School Garden Coordinator Ehrin Lingeman and Botany instructor Gary Engler, students developed a plan that would encourage more students to spend time in the greenhouse and gain the benefits of a warm, light-filled green space during Vermont’s long winter.

In addition, the students’ proposal aimed to:

  • Produce a new student-centered multipurpose space in the arts and sciences building that focuses on improving student mental health and natural science exploration
  • Revitalize the greenhouse for the science department and other departments that emphasizes life science project-based, hands-on learning 
  • Create an ongoing collaborative project that bridges two elective science courses using a place-based learning model; botany and horticulture

With support of grant funding from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Sue Farrell Fund for Access and Equity, the group worked over the winter to fill the current greenhouse space with warm season and tropical plants. Seniors in Karyn Neubauer’s Advanced Art class painted a beautiful mural. The school garden club, currently working on seed starts for TA’s garden, is helping to take care of the new plants and citrus trees. New furniture arrived last week–and student lunch groups quickly moved in during Power Hour.

The greenhouse vision is becoming reality with faculty support, community collaboration, and student ingenuity. Today, If you stop by TA’s greenhouse, you’ll be sure to find students gathered, new things growing, and hands-on learning in progress.



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