More than plants growing in the greenhouse

Walking into the greenhouse on campus is like an escape from reality. The warm, dome-shaped building is home to more than 100 plants including parsley, rosemary, basic houseplants, cacti and flowers.
While sitting at a little table in the greenhouse surrounded by plants, you can hear the waterfall trickle into a small pond. After what seemed to be a never-ending winter, the color green is a wonderful thing to see and the warmth of the room is a wonderful thing to feel.
Castleton’s Greenhouse Club is made up of students who maintain this hidden paradise. The club has been at Castleton for about a year-and-a-half. The greenhouse on campus is connected to Jeffords Hall and is open to students and faculty any time the building is open.
The club, advised by Mary Droege, has a few projects in mind to make the greenhouse even better.
“We are having plant sales to raise money for our project to create an outdoor patio,” said club President Aric Marcille.
They have been fundraising all year and many students have seen them selling plants in the Jeffords walkway on their way to class.
This new garden patio is planned for right outside of the current green house. Droege says she hopes the new outdoor area can be used for meetings, classes or just serve as a place for people to hang out and eat lunch. Their original goal was to start this spring.
“I’ve been getting really solid bids from landscapers, so we’ll see if we have enough money, or if we’ll have to raise more,” Droege said.
Paying for this project will be a little easier thanks to the grant the club received from Student Government Association.
Leadership of The Greenhouse Club is currently in transition with outgoing senior President Aric Marcille and in-coming President Jen Morelli.
“The Greenhouse Club is a lot of fun!” said Morelli. “Earlier this semester, we got to teach elementary students about our plants by playing fun, educational games with them like scavenger hunts.”
Morelli is excited about the club’s future and is looking forward to the garden patio project as well as plans to plant, harvest and dry their own tea.
“We are always looking for new ideas,” says Morelli.
Club member Mason Brown is glad she joined the club and said she has learned a lot in a short amount of time.
“Teaching the elementary students about the plants we have was my favorite part so far,” Brown said. “And I think growing our own tea will be awesome.”
Group members and leaders urge students and faculty to come check out their hard work or even consider joining the club.
“A lot of people don’t know about the club,” Droege said. “You don’t need any particular major or any background you just need to enjoy working with plants. We’ve had nursing students, psychology students, staff are welcome and have been involved. All you need is a love of plants!”