Geneva Greenhouse Revamped for Community Support
The City of Geneva’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Greenhouse has been out of commission for the past 10 years. The Geneva Wellness Committee has changed that – and with a helpful cause: to help Geneva residents grow healthy vegetables.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant Greenhouse was first built in the 1970’s to start the flowers that once lined Main Street Geneva. After that Greenhouse became outdated, it shut down and was rebuild in the late 1980’s where it was mostly used for City of Geneva landscaping. Without care, the greenhouse was soon used for storage and has continued that way until this most recent work.
When the Geneva Wellness Committee was brainstorming ways to bring forth environmental and nutritional wellness to the community, the WWTP’s Greenhouse was mentioned as a potential aid in supplying residents with vegetable plants for raised beds that were being built for residents who opted into a program for the Geneva Foundry Area and for the garden partnership at the Geneva Peeps’ plot on State Street. Members of the Wellness Committee were in luck because member, Phil Neininger, is an employee of the Wastewater Treatment Plant and horticulturist, agreed to take charge in this revamp project with the committee’s help. Between relining the plastic cover, fixing the heating, ventilation and sprinkler system to starting the seedlings, fertilizing and maintaining the health of the plants, Phil Neininger and Toni Shama worked diligently at making this project a success.
Many residents in neighborhoods surrounding the old foundry have been given raised garden beds within its remediation plan. Toni Shama has also worked with Jessica Avila, from the Geneva Neighborhood Resources Center, to meet with the effected residents and discuss which vegetable plants are requested and where the raised beds and soil will be delivered. Jessica has worked with residents to help bed and soil delivery and has reached out to community partners to supply the residents with gardening tools and resources through the Growing Geneva Together Community Garden Coalition.
“We have over 15 varieties of vegetables and herbs that are healthy and ready to be transplanted into the beds.” says Toni Shama. “We owe Phil a huge thank you for all of his hard work keeping the plants strong and happy.”
Residents that Jessica has worked with will be receiving their plants this Saturday, May 19th at the “Garden Planting Party” which is part of Growing Geneva’s Green Thumb Thursday Program initiated by Sarah Myer of Hobart & William Smith Colleges. The location is at the Geneva Peeps Community Garden, 46/50 State St. Geneva.
Master Gardener, Sarah Myer, will be on-site teaching how to properly plant and care for vegetables. The Garden Planting Party starts at 10:30am. This party is open to everyone who would like to attend and has received a lot of community donations. Toni adds, “Come visit Geneva Peeps and take home a variety of vegetable and herb plants for your garden.”
As for the greenhouse, the Geneva Wellness Committee is working on a plan to keep it running; possibly using it for its initial purpose to bring back the flowers that once aligned Main Street and expand the opportunity for neighborhood groups to be able to use these plants in their beautification projects. They are hopeful that this initiative will bring a new light to Geneva and find opportunities to help residents grow vegetables and bring more flowers to the community.
Projects like the WWTP’s Greenhouse are all a part of the City Of Geneva’s dedication to a philosophy of “Triple Bottom line way of business.”
For more information, please visit www.genevarec.com or contact Toni at firstname.lastname@example.org 315.789.5005