Greenhouse construction nearly complete

13-01-2020    12:09   |    Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND-A new, modern greenhouse on the city of Holland’s parks and cemeteries campus is just about complete and getting ready to house the more than 100,000 blooms grown by the city’s parks staff every year.

The greenhouse boasts twice the square footage of the city’s over-100-year-old greenhouse on State Street, which was running out of room, with plantings stacked in multiple layers to fill the growing number of flower beds the city designs and cultivates each year.

The 10,500-square-foot structure has a concrete floor and features polycarbonate siding and a plastic roof, an upgrade from the old-school glass of the historic greenhouse buildings. Parks and Recreation Director Andy Kenyon said while glass greenhouses are functional, they’re not as efficient as the more modern designs.

Other modernizations include automatic ventilation and temperature control, achieved through a system that automatically opens vents in the greenhouse walls when the temperature becomes too high. At the old greenhouse, staff had to manually crank vents open and closed to maintain a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees, Kenyon said.

It has a drainage system built-in, as well, and is designed so that trucks can drive through the building.

The greenhouse cost about $560,000 to build.

Kenyon said it will be a huge advantage to have the city greenhouse at the same site as the parks department offices on 24th Street and to have the growing space in one building instead of several small units.

Next month, the city’s parks department expects to receive its first shipments of annuals to be grown in the new greenhouse.

“It’ll be really interesting to see how we fill this space,” Kenyon said. “Literally it’s a blank canvas right now, but in a couple of short months it’s going to be an explosion of color in here.”

The flowers are grown over the next few months and then transplanted into the city’s tens of thousands of square feet of flower beds. The city’s greenhouse specialist, Emily Van Staalduinen, designs these floral displays and manages the greenhouse.

Watch the short video here.

The parks staff will transition between the two greenhouses over the course of the winter season.

Meanwhile, city leadership is beginning a decision-making process regarding the future of the old greenhouse.

The city is assembling a group of individuals to work on the issue and the hope is to hold a community workshop sometime in February to explore options for the greenhouse.

The historic nature of the old greenhouse complicates the decision, but it has also inspired one of the proposals for the greenhouse’s future — moving the tropical house to Centennial Park. The State Street greenhouse was first built to supply blooms to Centennial Park, just a few blocks away.

Whether the old greenhouse is preserved in some form, repurposed or simply taken apart, the city is ready to carry on its tradition of beautifying its spaces in the new one.

“Quality of life is super important for our community,” Kenyon said. “And we really think that the green space we have, the plantings we have, the ability to do these things is super important. People love it, so I’m really glad we can provide that service.”

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Photo Courtesy of Havecon

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