Calgary school’s bottled greenhouse helps stretch their green grant

The student-made greenhouse will be made primarily of recycled pop bottles

Larry Leach (Right) and Carie Croteau stand with Phoenix Foundation students in front of their recycled greenhouse. CHELSEY MUTTER / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Phoenix Foundation has found a creative way to reuse plastic pop bottles: a greenhouse.

The personalized learning institution was awarded a grant from Whole Kids to build a greenhouse. Larry Leach, fund development for the foundation, said using recycled bottles was a great way to do more with the grant money.

“We’re doing this so frugally that the grant will also help us to do something else,” he said.

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“We’ll have some money left over that we can do some other things, maybe something around water systems,” said Leach.

Building this greenhouse is part of helping teach children about the life cycle of the ecosystem. Leach said having the greenhouse will let the institution continue teaching this during colder months that plants don’t typically grow.

“We have such a short growing season, this allows us to expand our learning with our kids,” said Leach.

Greenhouse is student built

Carie Croteau, garden coordinator at Phoenix Learning, said the students have been very involved in the creation of the greenhouse. The bottles on the greenhouse have the names of helping children; Croteau cuts the bottles though.

Croteau hopes the names will last and that they won’t be bleached off by the sun right away. CHELSEY MUTTER / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

She hopes the structure will be finished before school starts back up in September, but said it depends how many bottle donations they receive.

“Then we can put some of our stuff in [the greenhouse] that may be starting to fade a little bit, and put it in there and just see if we can get another small harvest out of it,” said Croteau.

Croteau (Left) and Leach (Right) stand with the partially finished greenhouse at the Phoenix Foundation .

To donate bottles to the foundation, visit their Facebook page, or email larry@phoenixfoundation.ca or carie@phoenixfoundation.ca.

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