April 1, 2011
The City of Independence now operates a greenhouse under the Parks & Recreation Grounds Division. The Parks Grounds Division staff was approached during the summer of 2010 by representatives from Waste Management of Missouri (WMMO) about a potential interest in leasing the WMMO’s greenhouse facility at 2033 N. Courtney Road, previously leased by the Fort Osage School District.
The 6,000 square foot eco-friendly greenhouse has in-floor heating which comes from the methane created at a nearby landfill. By using the landfill, gas to both heat the greenhouse and furnish a clean carbon dioxide product plant growth is enhanced.
Over the past four years, the Parks Grounds Division has made initial efforts to create a viable park horticulture program to be utilized in the numerous park landscape and beautification projects. We have been at the forefront of xeriscaping with native perennial plants that require less water and maintenance than annual plants.
As identified in the recent Park & Open Space Master Plan Update, native perennial plant material can be propagated on a very cost- effective basis in a greenhouse facility, thus eliminating the only noted drawback to xeriscaping. In addition, the greenhouse will afford us the opportunity to purchase discounted container-grown trees/shrubs and store them in a controlled environment for installation during the appropriate planting season.
When fully functional, the greenhouse will provide for numerous planting sites located throughout the City. These sites vary and include traffic islands, park and neighborhood entrance signs and planters. The greenhouse has the potential to provide plantings for summer annuals, spring bulbs, perennials and foliage plants. The staff is responsible for growing a majority of the plants from seeds and for the maintenance of the planting sites.
Parks horticulturist Charlotte Olejko and maintenance supervisor Joe Knoll have been hard at work sanitizing and preparing the greenhouse for its initial planting season. “We are excited by the WMMO greenhouse facility and look forward to beautify the needs of Independence,” states parks horticulturist Charlotte Olejko.
Be prepared to see a more beautiful environment in Independence this spring and summer.