Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

News & Events

Greenhouse open house

Wednesday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wheaton’s new greenhouse, located at the top of the Mars Center for Science and Technology, will host an open house and a repotting clinic on Wednesday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come visit, ask your questions about plant care, and bring a houseplant in need of repotting. The greenhouse will provide soil and different sized pots. Whether you’re a scientist hoping to find something new, an artist with a sketchbook or camera, or a busy person just seeking a moment of peace, you are welcome.

The greenhouse gathers a world of botanical diversity into a 1,200-square-foot setting. Made up of four adjacent rooms, the greenhouse includes rainforest, desert and temperate environments, as well as a larger space reserved for student and faculty research. The new space has plants blooming that have never flowered before.

In keeping with campus-wide efforts to promote sustainability, the greenhouse uses natural lighting as a power source. On bright days, warm sunlight streams in and nourishes the plants and creates a beautiful atmosphere for people, too.

In addition to being a beautiful rooftop sanctuary, the greenhouse is also a valuable teaching tool. It holds four new growth chambers, machines that allow researchers to tinker with exactly how much light, heat and humidity that the growing plants inside will receive.

Many classes benefit from the growth chambers, student research room, and diversity of plants. For example, students in “Introduction to Biology” can use the facility to conduct their self-designed research projects. Botanists from “Plant Biology” visit the greenhouse regularly to study species diversity and anatomy, and “Genetics” classes use greenhouse plants to study cross-pollination in rapid cycling Brassica plants, which grow very quickly, enabling students to study several generations of plants by the end of the semester.

To read more about the greenhouse, visit: http://wheatoncollege.edu/science/greenhouse/.