Save the Hollins Greenhouse sign now

September 13, 2004

To: Richard Alvarez, Vice
From: Hollins Community Members
Re: Greenhouse

We, the undersigned, send you this petition regarding the Hollins Greenhouse which, doubtless due to this years pressing budgetary concerns, is slated to be closed as of October 1. Nevertheless, and providing the cost of maintaining the Greenhouse is not prohibitive, we urge you to reconsider this move for the reason that the greenhouse has become a wonderful asset to the Hollins landscape and community.

Under the sage hand of Cliff Sexton, one of our dedicated and hard-working groundskeepers, the Greenhouse is transformed into a green oasis that in winter months is frequented by campus residents and visitors alike. Strikingly beautiful, the greenhouse served the renowned visiting artist, Marjorie Portnow, as a drawing studio for one of her classes. In addition to being a beautiful space, the Greenhouse has utilitarian value, having served as a nursery where many plants are propagated for campus planting and for placement in buildings such as Dana. This aspect was highlighted in the Spring 2003 issue of Hollins Magazine, the back cover of which sports a photo of Cliff and some of the soon-to-be-transplanted geraniums that he had rooted during the winter. In this, the greenhouse has been instrumental in improving the Hollins landscape, which has not looked so splendid in years. And, certainly, the raising of plants in-house has saved Hollins a good deal of money, as the price of commercial flowers is quite high. Lastly, a number of faculty and staff regularly use the greenhouse to overwinter their plants or to start seedlings, a really nice Hollins perk. In order to offset a part of the operating costs, we could ask these people to pay a user fee.

If it proves to be financially feasible to maintain the Greenhouse, Hollins might well think of ways to take further advantage of this resource. For instance, plants propagated there would be a nice addition to the decor of new and established buildings, which are frequented by prospective students and their families.

We thank you for your attention and look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

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Betsy ForbesBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Hollins Administration

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